Virginia lieutenant governor wants accusations investigated

Northam accompanied by his wife Pamela Northam announces he will not resign during a news conference in Richmond Virginia

Northam said that while the state has made progress since the first slaves arrived at what is now Fort Monroe in 1619, work remains to address the racial inequities. "I urge everyone to take survivors of sexual assault seriously, and to help build an environment that is safe and supportive for everyone".

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he thought about resigning in the days after a racist yearbook photo surfaced. "That's why I'm not going anywhere".

Republican Kirk Cox, speaker of the Virginia House, would become governor if all three resign.

In light of the accusations, several Democratic leaders and the Virginia Legislative Back Caucus have called for him to resign, saying he "could no longer fulfill his duties to the commonwealth". "But he sacrificed so much of his ability to govern effectively". Fairfax did not deny he had an encounter with Tyson, but said it was consensual and the accusation was an attempt to smear him when he was poised to become governor of Virginia. In his new claims, he said that he was in blackface at another time to portray singer Michael Jackson in a dance competition.

The third Democrat Sabato is referring to is Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who this week also admitted to wearing blackface while at UVA in the 1980s.

A new Washington Post-Schar School poll found Virginians were evenly split on whether Northam should step down, but black voters were more inclined to forgive him.

The drama following Virginia's state leadership is spiraling out of control as a second woman comes forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault.

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Fairfax is under harsh scrutiny alongside other top Virginia state officials.

Along with denying the allegations, Fairfax called on all appropriate and impartial investigatory agencies, including the FBI, to investigate the claims made against him. Separately, Duke University said it's investigating a sexual assault allegation dating to 2000 against a former basketball player, which was made by one of the women who's accused Fairfax.

Looking ahead, Northam said he has asked his cabinet secretaries to come up with specific proposals to begin addressing issues of inequality, such as expanding access to healthcare, housing and transportation, and to begin reporting suggestions this week.

As for taking Virginia to the "next level", that's basically a meaningless/trite cliche, but I will say one thing positive: IF Ralph Northam is serious about racial reconcilation, equity and justice, and IF he devotes himself wholeheartedly to these things during whatever time he remains governor, PERHAPS some good can come out of this nightmare. He has served Virginia well and he and I and (Fairfax), all three of us have fought for equality. Meanwhile, two white state officials who have admitted to wearing blackface as young men - stirring painful reminders of Virginia's history of racism - are refusing to step down.

Justin Fairfax's latest statement re-victimizes Ms. Watson and Dr. Tyson.

Those rebuttals have not satisfied fellow Democrat Patrick Hope, a state delegate who has promised to introduce articles of impeachment when lawmakers reconvene Monday. On Friday, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association removed Fairfax from its leadership ranks, naming officials from DE and Washington state in his place.

Wise said she had reservations about Northam's commitment to black communities during the election, but supported him anyway and was prepared to hold him accountable amid a racially divided national climate.

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