Should Northam still be in office by Tuesday night, it could find its way into President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, which wouldn't bode well for Democrats, who would most likely stand up to applaud the president if he has to call for Northam's resignation.
The yearbook image was first published Friday afternoon by the conservative news site Big League Politics.
Embattled Democrat Governor Ralph Northam is walking back his apology for a racist photo that surfaced on Friday.
"He should have said that yesterday then", said state Senator Louise Lucas, D, who was among the lawmakers who received a call from Northam today.
"We made the decision to let Governor Northam do the correct thing and resign this morning - we have gotten word he will not do so this morning", said Susan Swecker, the chair for the Democratic Party in Virginia. "He just told me he didn't think it's him".
More than a dozen protesters braved the frigid air to protest outside the governor's mansion, holding signs such as "Blackface, no place" and "Step down and do Virginia a favor".
The NAACP agreed that party affiliation did not matter, with President Derrick Johnson releasing a statement saying "black face in any manner is always racist and never okay".
"As long as I feel that I can lead I will continue to do that", Ralph Northam says he'll have a "conversation" about resigning if he cannot continue to lead as governor of Virginia. Northam's term is set to end in 2022.
Demonstrators hold signs and chant outside the Governors office at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019.
Northam, a pediatric neurologist, came under fire last week from pro-life advocates and Republican lawmakers after he said he backed a bill allowing abortion up until shortly before birth.
Leaders in both parties have repeatedly urged Mr Northam to resign, saying he has lost the public's trust.
The photos alone are enough to prove that Governor Northam is not fit to represent the people of Virginia, but the implications are even greater.
Harris and Booker were joined by presidential hopefuls Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, who also want Northam to resign.
Northam has built his 12-year political career on a clean-cut image as a soft-spoken doctor and Army veteran who headed honour Council at VMI, a demanding job that required him to pass judgment on fellow students who lied or violated the school's honour code. He's a member of a predominantly black church on Virginia's Eastern Shore, where he grew up.
The racist photograph shows one person dressed in blackface and another in the KKK's signature white hood and robes. "That's not something that you build overnight", Northam told the AP during a 2017 campaign stop while describing his relationship with the black community.
He also said he is "collecting information" on the photo, and hopes to have more information in the coming days.