Former House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax, on Thursday criticized new House Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, for lashing out at Gov. Ralph Northam on Twitter Wednesday night following Northam’s State of the Commonwealth address.
“Your comments yesterday would have been offensive in any private or public place in [Virginia],” Filler-Corn said in a speech Thursday.
“But to believe that it was acceptable to do it from … this seat of power has even greater ramifications for the commonwealth.”
Gilbert sat behind Northam on the dais in the House chamber on Wednesday night. He later ripped the Democratic governor’s speech on Twitter, a reaction that contrasted with his party’s formal – and more muted – response.
“Ralph Northam is leaving office as his own lost cause, condescendingly lecturing us all from some assumed moral high ground because he read the book ‘Roots’ and then went on a non-stop reconciliation tour,” Gilbert said, referring to the Alex Haley novel about American slavery and its aftermath. “Saturday can’t come fast enough.”
Republican Glenn Youngkin is inaugurated Saturday as Virginia’s 74th governor.
Northam resisted calls for his resignation during the 2019 blackface scandal following the disclosure of a racist photo on his page in his medical school yearbook. He committed the rest of his tenure to a focus on righting inequities.