by the Associated Press

The Republican speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates says there’s little appetite to try to impeach the state’s embattled governor and that he should step down instead.

Speaker Kirk Cox repeated calls Monday for Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to step down because of a photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook that shows someone in blackface.

Northam denies being in the yearbook photo even though he had apologized for it Friday and said previously that he was in it.

Asked whether lawmakers could seek to remove Northam, Cox said lawmakers would be hesitant to do so because it would amount to overturning an election. He said there would be a very high standard for removal. He said he hopes the governor steps down instead.

He said that “regardless of the veracity of the photograph the governor has lost the confidence of the people and cannot effectively govern.”