The day after he was elected Speaker of the House, local Del. Todd Gilbert came under fire from Democrats for using his Twitter account to criticize Gov. Ralph Northam.
As Northam gave his final State of the Commonwealth address on Wednesday night, Gilbert tweeted: “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. Saturday can’t come fast enough."
Republican Glenn Youngkin will be sworn into office on Saturday. Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, was elected Wednesday as the 57th Speaker of the House in a unanimous vote.
A spokesperson for Gilbert did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday, but Gilbert's Tweet seemed to refer to the 2019 scandal when a racist photo was found on Northam's page in his medical school yearbook.
Former Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn, a Democrat representing Fairfax County, spoke about the Tweet on the floor of the House of Delegates on Thursday, stating Gilbert took an oath Wednesday to be a speaker for all Virginians and she cannot remain silent when "...divisive words are used in this chamber."
“Your comments would have been offensive in any private or public place in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Filler-Corn said. “But to believe that it was acceptable to do it from this seat, from this seat of power, has even greater ramifications all across the Commonwealth.”
Alena Yarmosky, a spokesperson for Northam, stated on her Twitter account Wednesday night, “What a sad comment from someone who is supposed to have the most distinguished role on Capitol Square. May you hope to have half the moral clarity, compassion, and character of Ralph Northam.”