Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Why aren't Democrats calling on Justin Fairfax to resign?

Why aren't Democrats calling on Justin Fairfax to resign?

With Virginia Governor and award-winning moonwalker Ralph Northam facing calls to resign over his apparent affinity for blackface, all eyes turned to the state's young rising star of a lieutenant governor and former Venable counsel Justin Fairfax.

Virginia is embroiled in political turmoil following the discovery last week of a racist photo on Northam's medical school yearbook page.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, accompanied by his wife Pamela Northam announces he will not resign during a news conference Richmond, Virginia, U.S. February 2, 2019. This was 24 hours after apologizing for appearing in the picture and after making the most terrible statement on "super" late term abortion.

The top three officials in Virginia's government are now all caught in separate scandals.

Fairfax, who would step in as governor if Northam resigns, said the encounter with Tyson was consensual, that the allegation is false and threatened legal action against Tyson.

Asked a bit earlier today about "blackface" and about the allegations by Vanessa Tyson about Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, U.S. Senator and (leading?) 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris had the following to say.

Despite Democrats' professed commitment to root out bigotry and intolerance, Northam's party might be motivated to rally behind him to avoid the prospect of Republicans assuming the governorship. Racism, like the shoe polish Gov. Northam used on his face, can't simply be scrubbed away.

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He said that in the days ahead, "honest conversations and discussions will make it clear whether I can or should continue to serve as Attorney-General".

Tyson said in a statement released Wednesday that she also told close friends of hers in Virginia of the assault during Fairfax's campaign for lieutenant governor in 2017.

"I wish we had a president who was willing to lead on this", she said, referring to President Donald Trump, who flirts with racially tinged rhetoric and who said there were "very fine people" among white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. Herring, 57, who previously called for the governor to quit, is second in line to replace the governor and has expressed gubernatorial ambitions of his own.

Fairfax has repeatedly denied her allegations, saying that the encounter was consensual and that he is the victim of a strategically timed political smear. Explaining himself, Herring said he and his friends broke out the brown makeup and attended a party "dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow".

Kirk Cox, 61, the Republican speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, is third in the state's constitutional line of succession. "VA would never elect people like Northam, Fairfax, Herring, Warner or Kaine without the votes of federal gov employees in NOVA", Falwell wrote in a post.

That radio interview is what reportedly motivated a medical school classmate of Northam's to tip the media off about the yearbook photo, triggering the current avalanche of recrimination. Norment also said he had supported the academy's racial integration that year.

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