Virginia Democrats hunker down amid blackface, sex assault scandal

Virginia Democrats hunker down amid blackface, sex assault scandal

That stands in stark contrast to the rush of resignation calls for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, also a Democrat, in the wake of a picture featuring two men - one in blackface, the other in Ku Klux Klan robes - appearing on his medical school yearbook page.

The governor initially said he was one of the two men, then denied it a day later. Governor Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and Attorney General Mark Herring are all receiving demands to resign after their previously racist and sexist behaviors have been brought to light.

Fairfax had always been considered a rising star in the party who drew praise for taking a stand against a ceremony honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee just last month.

"Fifteen years ago, when I was an unmarried law student, I had a consensual encounter with the woman who made the allegation", the 39-year-old lieutenant governor said.

The far-right Big League Politics site posted a private Facebook message on Sunday purportedly obtained from the accuser with her permission by a friend suggesting that Fairfax had assaulted her during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Abrams's historic candidacy-she would have been the first black female governor in USA history-and the contention over the campaign-she insists Kemp suppressed votes although the race had high turnout-made it one of the most watched races in 2018. She also informed him that she had already told the Washington Post about an alleged incident involving Fairfax and that she had given the Post Congressman Scott's name as a character witness.

Fairfax has denied the allegations since they were first raised by a pro-Trump website earlier this week. Ed O'Keefe reports.

"Amateur blackface minstrelsy was the number one entertainment form throughout the 19th century and the 20th century", Rhae Lynn Barnes said on the "Democracy Now!" news hour.

Florida's Republican secretary of state, Michael Ertel, resigned on January 24 after the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper published photos from a Halloween party 14 years earlier showing him in blackface, wearing a T-shirt with the words: "Katrina Victim". During a press conference Saturday, Northam insisted he was not in the yearbook photo but admitted he had once worn blackface.

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Northam has continued to cling to power, hunkered down in the governor's mansion in Richmond, despite facing calls to resign from nearly the entire Democratic party in Virginia, and a number of prominent black public figures.

If all three top Democrats in the line of succession are unable to hold the governor's job, that could result in Democrats losing the Governor's Mansion altogether. 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.

Republican Del. David Yancey was tied with Democrat Shelly Simonds after all votes were counted in the 2017 Virginia election.

Despite a history of racist comments, Steve King is still a member of Congress even though he was kicked off committees by Republican leaders after defending white nationalism and white supremacy in an interview.

Cox, a former high school teacher who has served in the state's Republican-controlled House since 1990, said he was not convinced the yearbook scandal met the threshold for an impeachable offence.

He said his discussions in the coming days will "make it clear" if he should resign.

"His shock at being so quickly discarded by the party has made it harder for Northam to accept the calls to resign", sources close to the governor told the Post.

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