Va. Democrats Call For Fairfax's Resignation After 2nd Accuser Comes Forward

Va. Democrats Call For Fairfax's Resignation After 2nd Accuser Comes Forward

But now, several nationally prominent Virginians within his own party are calling on Fairfax to resign as well.

Gov. Justin Fairfax is reaffirming his decision to not resign, releasing a statement after two women came forward with accusations of sexual assault.

The woman, Meredith Watson, says the alleged assault happened while they were both undergraduate students at Duke University.

He said he tasked his Cabinet "to think over the weekend how we could change and make new policy, how we could reshape Virginia through their Cabinet positions".

"I say this again without reservation: I did not sexually assault or rape Meredith Watson, Vanessa Tyson or anyone else", his latest statement asserted. The allegations became public Friday afternoon through a statement from her legal team that was posted on Twitter by reporter Ben Jacobs.

Earlier this week, California college professor Vanessa Tyson accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention.

"Due to the serious nature of these allegations, we believe Lieutenant Governor Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties to the Commonwealth", Democrats in both chambers said in a statement Friday night.

A senior official in Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's administration says the governor has told his top staff that he does not plan to resign over a racist photo despite intense pressure to step down.

Northam, a Democrat, maintains he is not in the photo, which shows a person in blackface standing next to someone in KKK robes. Northam initially said it was him in the picture, and apologized.

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Nor has the scandal left Virginia Republicans unscathed.

Ralph Northam said Saturday that reports disclosing racist photos that appeared on his high school yearbook might serve a higher goal: The scandal could make him a better governor.

Northam at first admitted he was in the picture, then denied it a day later, but acknowledged he once put shoe polish on his face to look like Michael Jackson for a dance contest in 1984.

A hip-hop pioneer who was imitated by a Virginia politician in blackface says he hopes people will learn lessons from such "regrettable actions".

Party elders Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Bobby Scott said Fairfax should resign if the allegations against him were true. He called the allegation a political smear. "It's very troubling. I'm happy that other Virginia leaders have called for [Fairfax] to step aside".

Watson's legal team released an email exchange between her and a former Duke classmate from October 2016, in which Watson responds to an invitation to a fundraiser for Fairfax by saying, "Justin raped me in college and I don't want to hear anything about him".

Justin Fairfax, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, drinks before opening the state's Senate meeting during a session of the General Assembly in Richmond, Virginia, U.S, February 8, 2019.

Northam seemed chastened and subdued as he described a week of grappling with what "white privilege" means, with the reality of African-American history, and with the personal failing of growing up after desegregation and the civil rights era while somehow not realising that donning blackface is offensive.

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