A moving van arrived at the Governor’s mansion in Richmond Tuesday to begin moving Governor Ralph Northam and the First Lady Pam out of the historic building.
Governor Northam, while officially from Norfolk, was the second Eastern Shore native to hold the Commonwealth of Virginia’s top office, the first being Governor Henry Wise who served from 1855 – 1859.
Northam’s time in the governor’s mansion was tumultuous to say the least.
Scandals and missteps plagued his administration, including ordering mandatory evacuations for a hurricane that never hit coastal Virginia, a misguided response to a question on loosening of abortion restrictions which attracted national attention and the black face yearbook scandal that almost cost him his governorship.
Northam also faced the COVID-19 pandemic and ordered the removal of the historic equestrian statue of General Robert E. Lee after national riots erupted following the death of an unarmed black man in Minnesota at the hands of police.
During the two year span where Democrats controlled both Chambers of the legislature as well as the statewide offices, several progressive initiatives were signed into law by Governor Northam, including the repeal of the death penalty, the legalization of marijuana, doubling of the minimum wage, eliminating abortion restrictions and increasing restrictions on gun ownership.
Northam’s predecessor Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost his bid for a second term in the Governor’s mansion to political newcomer Glenn Youngkin, as did the other two Democrats in statewide races. Democrats also lost the House of Delegates in November’s election.
Reports indicate the Governor will return to Norfolk to resume a medical practice. Northam was a pediatrician before winning statewide office as Lieutenant Governor in 2013.
Youngkin’s inauguration is set for Saturday, January 15, 2022, along with the inaugurations of Lieutenant Governor elect Winsome Sears, the first woman of color to hold statewide office, and Commonwealth’s Attorney elect Jason Miyares.