RICHMOND, Va. (Reuters) – Virginia’s embattled governor insisted he won’t resign over a racist yearbook picture, however he mentioned the state’s lieutenant governor must step apart if sexual assault allegations in opposition to him are discovered to be true.

In a CBS interview to be broadcast on Monday, Governor Ralph Northam mentioned he had realized from the controversy that erupted on Feb. 1 when a racist picture surfaced from his medical faculty yearbook, and that as a former pediatrician he may assist Virginians heal.

“There’s no higher particular person to do this than a health care provider. Virginia additionally wants somebody who is powerful, who has empathy, who has braveness and who has an ethical compass,” Northam informed CBS “This Morning” co-host Gayle King. “And that’s why I’m not going wherever.”

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In accordance with excerpts of the interview offered on Sunday by CBS, Northam was requested about allegations of sexual crimes, together with rape, which have been made by two girls in opposition to Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, a fellow Democrat and the state’s second-highest elected official.

Fairfax, who has denied the allegations and known as for an investigation, has additionally confronted widespread calls from Democratic leaders to step apart.

Northam informed CBS it should have taken super braveness for the ladies to come back ahead, and that he supported Fairfax’s name for an investigation.

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“And if these accusations are decided to be true, I don’t suppose he’s going to have another possibility however to resign,” Northam mentioned.

Fairfax, who’s African-American, has mentioned that encounters with each girls have been consensual.

“I imagine and belief that due course of will present the equity, justice and honesty that’s essential,” Fairfax mentioned in a press release on Saturday.

He known as on “all acceptable and neutral investigatory authorities, together with the FBI,” to research the claims.

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A fellow Democrat, state Home member Patrick Hope, has mentioned he’ll introduce articles of impeachment in opposition to Fairfax on Monday until the lieutenant governor resigns.

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The political chaos surrounding the state’s high two elected officers has additionally prolonged to the second-in-line to succeed Northam, Legal professional Common Mark Herring, who admitted that he had as soon as darkened his face to mimic a black performer.

The potential for all three high leaders of Virginia’s government department having to resign raised the prospect of Democrats dropping the governorship to the Republican speaker of the state Home of Delegates, who’s subsequent within the line of succession.

Reporting by Gary Robertson; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Enhancing by Lisa Shumaker

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