Northam Scandal Opens Rift Between Top Democrats in Virginia – The New York Times
Lawmakers in Richmond insisted that, despite the tumult, they were trying to work as normal. This week is among the most crucial for the General Assembly, because Tuesday is âcrossover day,â the moment on the legislative calendar when the two chambers swap their passed bills.
And as sunset neared on the Jefferson-designed Capitol, the House of Delegates was in session, considering a bill about embryos and assisted conception as its members sat quietly in their seats. One was wrapped in a blanket.
âIâm just sort of focusing what weâre working on,â said Alfonso H. Lopez, a Northern Virginia legislator who is the Houseâs Democratic whip.
But when they stepped away from their desks, the lawmakers could not help but express their fears about the implications of Mr. Northam remaining in office.
By Monday evening the governor had spent more than three long nights in deepening political isolation, abandoned by Democrats who quickly came to see his diminished standing as a burden on two fronts: their policy agenda, including matters like teacher pay and tax policy, and their efforts to capture control of the House of Delegates and the Senate this year.
Both chambers are within reach for the party, which has made gains throughout the state in recent years.
âIt would be very burdensome for us in this election year to have a governor whoâs being protested at every stop,â said Mark Sickles, a Democratic legislator from Northern Virginia.