Senator supports Northam’s determination to earn Virginians' trust, not resign

Business as usual at Capital despite Northam controversy

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A King George County Senator is supporting Governor Ralph Northam’s determination to win back Virginians’ trust amid the controversial medical school yearbook photo which surfaced last Friday.

Northam has not released a statement to the public since he held a news conference Saturday. However, the governor did issue a statement Tuesday following the death of Trooper Lucas Dowell.

“The passing of Trooper Dowell is a great loss to the Commonwealth. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends who knew Trooper Dowell best. We are grateful for his dedication to the safety of our communities, and for all of those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others.”

The Governor’s office remains tight-lipped about his plans for the future, despite Senator Richard Stuart (R-King George County) coming forward Tuesday showing his support.

“Ralph Northam is a good man,” Stuart stated. “He has devoted his entire life to the service of other through his career in the Army, as a pediatrician and as a public servant.”

The Senator did not address the media Tuesday, instead slipping through a side door following the Senate’s adjournment, but his statement speaks to the controversy that’s heightened over the last few days.

“I am heartbroken for the many Virginians for whom this episode conjures the horrors of the darkest chapters of our history,” Stuart said.

The 11-year Senator for District 28 added the hype of this ongoing situation involving Northam has left him with concerns.

“No matter the veracity of the photo in question, a man who had devoted his entire life to the service of others should have the opportunity to clear his name,” Stuart said. “People who have been elected to represent Virginians should have the courage to say what is self-evident to so many people – that poor judgement 34 years ago should not outweigh a selfless service to people from every walk of life.”

The Senator added this is a teaching moment for children that, “when you make a mistake, the right thing to do is face up to it and work to make things right, not run away in shame and disgrace.”

Meanwhile, for one Richmond-area delegate it was business as usual for him Tuesday as the demands for Northam to resign continue to grow.

“I think looking at the cameras around me, it certainly is something you all are focused on, but for us, we have a job we have to do for the people of Virginia and that’s where we’re focused,” said Delegate Lee Ware, (R-Powhatan).

Ware said the last time he spoke with Northam was Saturday. Monday reports stated the Governor had met with cabinet members asking for “more time” in making a decision.

“I can’t neither read his mind or speculate on what the future is,” Ware said.

Crossover day, which is the deadline to pass any bills before they “crossover” to the other body, had legislators scurrying around the Capitol.

“It certainly has been [business] for me and the people I talk with,” Ware said.

Several bills that gained attention in Virginia have passed in their respected chambers, including the Hands Free Virginia bill and raising the tobacco buying age.

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