A 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page of future Gov. Ralph Northam shows a photo of a man in blackface and a man wearing an outfit of the Ku Klux Klan.
It was not immediately clear who was in the photo.
The right-wing blog Big League Politics first published the photo on Friday, saying it showed Northam and a friend—Northam in blackface and the friend wearing an outfit of the Ku Klux Klan.
The governor’s press office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A quotation on the yearbook page purportedly from Northam, reads, “There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I’ll have another beer.”
Last month, Florida’s secretary of state, Michael Ertel, resigned after photos emerged of him posting as a Hurricane Katrina victim in blackface 14 years ago, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
The Republican Party of Virginia tweeted a link to the Big League Politics story and wrote, “@GovernorVA needs to explain this immediately.”
Northam is an Eastern Shore native who graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1981 and then attended Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. He represented Norfolk and the Eastern Shore in the state Senate from 2008 to 2014 before becoming lieutenant governor and then being elected governor in 2017.
In a 2017 interview with The Times-Dispatch, Northam said he had just recently learned that his ancestors were slave owners. “My family’s complicated story is similar to Virginia’s complex history. We’re a progressive state, but we once had the largest number of slaves in the union,” Northam said in 2017.
The news of the photo surfaced two days after Northam made controversial remarks about late term abortion that caused a storm in national conservative media and prompted Republicans to accuse him of supporting infanticide.