ARLINGTON, Va. — In an interview with the Washington Post--his first since the racist yearbook photo surfaced--Governor Ralph Northam says he will not resign and thinks he's the right person to help Virginia heal.
Northam told the Post, “It’s obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do… especially in the area of equity …and I think that I’m the person that can do that for Virginia.”
WUSA9 asked several residents at a gas station in Arlington who seem to disagree.
“A tiger don’t change his stripes," said Martin Honesty, who does a lot of business in Virginia.
He doesn't believe the governor didn't know dressing in blackface in college was wrong and doesn't think he deserves a second chance.
“If a black man or a black person would have done the same thing or something like that would have came out about a black person, they would have demanded and there wouldn’t have been any question about him stepping down," said Martin.
A pump to the right, Debra Wise feels similarly.
She agrees with Governor Northam that Virginia has to heal but not with the leader Northam suggests.
“Even though he may have been very young and in college at the time, that it was in very poor taste and in very bad judgment, and that makes me lack confidence that he’d be the right person to really help us move forward from that type of situation mainly because it still happens today," said Debra.
Overall, at this Speedway in Arlington Saturday night, there's just a desire for better days.
“I hope and pray that nobody else in the administration or in the governor’s office or in the lieutenant governor’s office has to deal with any other type of bad press during this time," said Debra, laughing to herself.
"I think we really have so many bigger things to deal with at this time, and it’d be nice to be able to move forward genuinely.”