Surovell said the decision "had nothing to do with" revelations late Friday that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) appeared in a 1984 medical school yearbook photo showing one man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe.
Ralph Northam's page in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook.
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper tweeted a picture of the page which it said it obtained from the medical school library.
In a statement delivered in front of members of the media and a live television audience, Northam said he believes that neither of the people that appear in the photo is him and asks Virginians for the opportunity to "earn your forgiveness".
Mr Northam later released a video statement via Twitter in which he said he was "deeply sorry" for the offence the image had caused.
"I believe now and then that I am not either of the people in this photo", Northam said. "He's demonstrated that he has a grasp of what we need to do in Virginia, and I think he's going to make an outstanding governor".
Markos Moulitsas, the founder and publisher of the liberal blog Daily Kos, also called on Northam to step down, saying his "racist med school antics have no place anywhere in America". "No matter the party affiliation, we cannot stand for such behavior, which is why the NAACP is calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam".
At first, a Virginia Democrat defended Gov. Ralph Northam amid backlash over an old photo that surfaced, but now, Democrats are aligning in calling for the governor's resignation.
Northam made the shocking abortion remarks in an interview with WTOP-FM on Wednesday, as he attempted to explain a Democrat delegate's earlier remarks supporting a bill relaxing restrictions on late-term abortions.
Protesters gathered in front of his office in Richmond, Virginia, waving signs demanding he step down.
For now, Northam's close allies haven't said anything publicly.
Virginia House and Senate Democrats also issued statements saying their caucuses could no longer support Northam. On Friday, the governor's yearbook photo from his medical school days was revealed.
The Democratic governor said on Saturday that he, in fact, was not in the photo and had never even seen the yearbook until Friday.
A Republican county official in Pennsylvania, Carla Maloney, resigned previous year due to past social media posts in which she compared kneeling National Football League players to "baboons".
"As we commemorate 400 years since the first enslaved Africans were brought to Virginia, it is painful to experience such a searing reminder of the modern legacy of our nation's original sin", he continued. He said he'll convene a meeting of leadership and others to address the issue. Among them: Democratic presidential hopefuls Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren; newly elected Democratic U.S. Reps.
Not only was this false, but the mistake is insulting to Virginia Republicans who remember the 2017 election in which Northam won the governorship.
Northam, 59, grew up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in the fishing village of Onancock.
"It's a matter of relationships and trust". A wide swath of Democrats and Republicans have called on Northam to resign after he apologized Friday for appearing in a photo in which one person is dressed in blackface and another is wearing a full Ku Klux Klan uniform.