Northam Scandal Kills Event With Delmarva Governors

    The scandal swirling around Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam (D) appears to have put the kibosh on an event next week that was to have brought together the three governors who represent the Delmarva Peninsula.

    Northam, Maryland Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) and Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) were scheduled to appear together Monday in Salisbury at an event sponsored by the Greater Salisbury Committee.

    But WPOC-TV in Salisbury reported Tuesday that the committee has put out a statement postponing the event.

    “The Greater Salisbury Committee has decided to postpone the proposed governors of Delmarva event, originally scheduled for February 11th on the campus of Salisbury University,” the statement read.

    “The governors of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia each value the Delmarva Peninsula and the people who call this great place home. GSC looks forward to bringing together Delmarva’s governors in the near future for a discussion on our region.”

    The statement made no mention of the pressure Northam is facing to resign after a picture surfaced Friday in his 1984 medical school yearbook page showing a man in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    Northam has been unable to explain the photograph. He first apologized for the hurt it caused but a day later said he was not one of the people in the photograph and did not know why it was featured on his yearbook page. At the same time, he admitted to wearing blackface while wearing a Michael Jackson costume at a dance in 1984.

    Hundreds of prominent Democrats – including Carney – and some Republicans have urged Northam to resign.

    “If Governor Northam continues in office, we risk condoning something that we should be teaching our children is wrong,” Carney said in a statement Tuesday. “That kind of behavior is part of our country’s troubled past. I’m hopeful that Governor Northam will resign and that we use this as a painful reminder that we have much more work to do as a country to move past the thoughts and actions that are behind this image.”

    Hogan has yet to address the controversy publicly.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.