After two months of Democratic lawmakers distancing themselves from Governor Ralph Northam (D) when racist photos were released in early February, one state senator is going back on his calls for resignation and even hosting a fundraiser this weekend featuring the embattled governor. While State Senator Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax) may be using Northam to get ahead in the fundraising game in the run-up to the 2019 elections, it has drawn contention with the community and the Commonwealth at-large.
The Fairfax County NAACP is creating a movement to protest Governor Northam at Marsden’s fundraising event this Sunday after photos of the governor reportedly appearing in blackface or dressed in KKK robes remain unexplained.
Local activist groups will also be looking to show their disgust with Marsden as he completely flipped on his position to place a stark condemnation on Northam.
“There was a lot of damage done by this whole incident. The African American community was deeply hurt by this. It’s very, very painful,” he said in a recent report from the Richmond-Times Dispatch. “But at this point in time he appears to be staying in office. If indeed he has work to do on moving the ball forward on racial understanding, he needs a venue to do that, and that’s what I’m trying to provide.”
“It doesn’t change our position that we feel the governor should resign. But this is a big year coming up and Democrats have a big opportunity to take both chambers,” he added.
What Marsden actually means is that in an election year, lawmakers have principles, but if they are not conducive to getting reelected, they can be changed.
The Virginia GOP is also announcing Northam’s appearance at Marsden’s fundraiser this Sunday to organize protesters against the governor for appearing in racist photos and his full-fledged support of the highly controversial late-term abortion bill that was introduced by Democrats during the 2019 legislative session.
In a Friday Twitter post the state party said, “@RalphNortham will be at a political fundraiser for Democrat @SenDaveMarsden this Sunday. We need to get our grassroots volunteers out and organized to send Northam & Marsden a message: Virginia will not tolerate infanticide or racism.”