Northam Suggests The Racist Photo Scandal Could Make Him A Better Governor

Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate at the Virginia State Capitol

Northam Suggests The Racist Photo Scandal Could Make Him A Better Governor

He said he is monitoring the situation involving Democratic Lieutenant-Governor Justin Fairfax, who is denying two sexual assault allegations, but that he has not made any decisions about who he might appoint as a replacement if Fairfax heeded calls to resign.

Democrats in the state Senate, in a statement released Friday, acknowledged that it must be their actions - not their words - "that will lift up the voices that for far too long have been silenced". He said the latest accusation, that he had raped a fellow student at Duke University in 2000, was "demonstrably false" and declared he would not step down.

Two women have accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, and he has emphatically denied both allegations.

The Democrat defended his vow to stay in office despite widespread calls for his resignation.

The top three Democrats in Virginia's state government are now dealing with various scandals - Gov. Ralph Northam and state Attorney General Mark Herring both admitted to having worn blackface in the 1980s.

Several of the state's top Democrats, including U.S. Sen.

The allegations come as Virginia's state politics continue to swirl, after Gov. Ralph Northam admitted to and then denied being in a photo showing a person in a Ku Klux Klan outfit and a person in blackface that was on his page in his medical school yearbook. That was followed by separate admissions from Northam, 59, and Herring, 57, that each had darkened their faces during the 1980s to imitate black performers, a practice widely considered to be racist.

The embattled governor, who is one year into his four-year term, affirmed to staffers on Friday that he would not resign.

"The long and short of it is that Fairfax is the one in trouble and unless he's impeached, he does not have to resign", Sabato said. Consequently, I call on all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI, to investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me by Ms. Watson and Dr. Tyson.

Fairfax denied the first allegation in a February 6 statement.

Democrats have shown a willingness to forgive him because he confessed his "blacking up" shame to African-American lawmakers in Virginia before it became public.

Regarding Ms. Watson, I knew Ms. Watson in college both before and after the encounter, and she never said to me that our interaction was not consensual or caused her any discomfort.

A former Duke University classmate said she was raped by Fairfax in a, "premeditated and aggressive" attack in 2000. "We learn from our mistakes and I'm a stronger person", Northam said. Cox - a Republican, and third in line for governor should Northam step down - said in a statement that Fairfax's ability to govern has been "permanently impaired" by the "multiple, serious credible allegations" of sexual assault.

His first accuser, Vanessa Tyson, came forward last week with allegations that he forced her to perform oral sex on him in his hotel room at the Democratic Party convention in Boston in 2004.

Comstock also said that there appears to be no confidence in the state's governor, Ralph Northam, either.

He said he's held conversations with black politicians who explained to him why blackface is offensive.

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