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It’s been more than four months since both sides of the aisle in the Virginia General Assembly called on Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after it was revealed there was a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page.
It was one of the few times in recent years Republicans and Democrats in Richmond were aligned on an issue.
Elections - Legislature - Draw - Closer - Democrats
But as elections for the 140-member legislature draw closer, some Democrats have accepted donations from the governor despite trying to distance themselves from him in the weeks after the racist photo plunged Virginia into the national spotlight.
Northam’s political action committee, The Way Ahead, has donated $160,000 to Democratic candidates since the start of the year, campaign finance reports show. Democrats need to win two seats in both the House and Senate to become the party in charge.
November - Elections - Shift - Northam - Matters
It won’t be clear until the November elections whether the shift in attitude toward Northam matters to voters.
In the hours and days following Northam’s Feb. 1 apology for appearing in the photo and his subsequent denial of being in it, the House and Senate caucuses for each party declared Northam could no longer lead. The state parties followed suit, taking their cues from presidential candidates and Virginia’s Congressional delegation.
Election - Balance - Power - Richmond - Mass
But a looming election that could change the balance of power in Richmond and the deadly mass shooting in Virginia Beach have somewhat reunited the Democratic party with Northam, whose fundraising dipped significantly following the photo scandal.
Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, the House minority leader, repeated the mantra legislators told reporters in February: while the photo was difficult to process, there’s work to be done.
Months - Work - Help - Man - Heart
And four months later, that work is getting done with the financial help of the man at the heart of the scandal.
“Gov. Northam is part of a team working to elect majorities in the General Assembly,”...
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