Candidate Tristan Shields Calls for Northam Resignation

Saturday, February 2, 2019

This is a sad day for Virginia. I understand why many of you disagree with my call for Governor Northam’s resignation. All of us have made mistakes in our pasts. I believe all of us are fully capable of change and growth. Yet, we MUST change the political math.

The consequence for not openly addressing the ugliness in our past needs to be bigger than getting caught.

The unfortunate reality is systematic racism still exists in Virginia. We have come a long way since “Massive Resistance” but we have much farther to go. This is an incredibly disappointing setback, albeit no surprise to African Americans. Deep social change can take generations. That’s why political leaders need to be held accountable for their thoughts, words and deeds, past and present.

Governor Northam knew this photo existed, his decision not to address it sooner puts many of his recent decisions into question: his backing of Dominion over an historic African American community in regards to the pipeline and his willingness to remove his African American running mate, Justin Fairfax, from campaign literature comes to mind. He gambled that the price for getting caught would be worth paying. Now we are determining that price.

This is a hard day for Virginia but it is also an opportunity to take a step in a better direction. I hope Governor Northam does the right thing this morning and steps aside.