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And Then There Were Four: Yet ANOTHER Virginia Official Embroiled in Controversy

09 February, 2019, 12:12 | Author: Taylor George
  • Obtained by ABC News Professor Vanessa Tyson

The political crisis in Virginia intensified Thursday as several leading Democratic presidential candidates called for an investigation into a woman's sexual assault allegations against Lieutenant Governor Justin E. Fairfax, a Democrat, saying they thought her account was credible.

Tyson alleges she met Fairfax when they were both working at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004.

Abrams delivered the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday, another step to national prominence following a close election loss for governor in Georgia past year to Republican Brian Kemp. The GOP speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox, is in line to become governor, and the Republican-controlled House would select a new attorney general.

Fairfax has strongly rejected the accusations, and Tyson released a statement on Wednesday saying, "What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault".

But then rumours began circulating of another controversial photo, and this time it was Herring who was said to been in "blackface". Tyson's depiction of events, along with Lt. Governor Fairfax's alleged statement of "f-- that b--", has garnered a lot of media and public attention.

Brown added that discrimination issues in Virginia "are much more explicit" than they are in Oregon. Cox also urged Herring to "adhere to the standard he has set for others", a nod to Herring's previous call that Northam resign. The party made big gains in 2017, in part because of a backlash against President Donald Trump, and has moved to within striking distance of a majority in both houses. "The most important thing that needs to happen is that the people of Virginia need to make that decision", she said. Northam has also denied appearing in the photo, but acknowledged donning blackface on a separate occasion.

"We're really wanting to be clear that we need our Democratic leadership to change... we really want a party that's open to all without regard to race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, and we encourage black leadership, indigenous leadership, woman leadership, LGBTQ... and marginalized folks to really step into political participation while challenging the validity of Virginia's white supremacist Democratic party", the organizer stressed. And Al Sharpton, the prominent black activist and television personality, told BuzzFeed News that Herring and Northam should resign and that he'd lead protests against the two politicians.

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Shortly afterward, the state's two US senators and seven Democratic congressmen took a similar approach.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has been facing calls for his resignation since a 1984 yearbook surfaced last week that features a racist photo on a page dedicated to him.

He said he and two friends dressed up to look like rappers they listened to, including Kurtis Blow, admitting: "It sounds ridiculous even now writing it".

Black lawmakers' response could set the tone for whether fellow Democrats demand the resignation of the lieutenant-governor and the attorney general.

The law firm that represented Kavanaugh during his contentious confirmation hearings last fall is representing embattled Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax as he defends himself against allegations of sexual assault.

The civil rights leader said he came to Richmond to deliver a message to the governor: "I'm not going to be your minstrel!"


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