Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Says He’s ’Not Going Anywhere’

Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax denies second accusation of sexual assault

Democratic Virginia members of the US Congress insisted on Sunday that state governor Ralph Northam can not remain in office after admitting that he wore blackface as a young man.

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. Fairfax has denied the allegations.

Gregory Howard, interim dean of theology at Richmond's historically black Virginia Union University, says there's still another point not to miss when thinking about the apologies offered by Northam and Herring.

Calls for Fairfax to step aside have come from state House and Senate Democrats, the Legislative Black Caucus, former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's two US senators - Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, also both Democrats - and several potential Democratic presidential hopefuls.

For now, it appears Virginians themselves remain split on whether their leaders must step down.

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Consider: In just 10 days, Gov. Ralph Northam has admitted to being in the racist photo - then denied it, then admitted to wearing blackface on a separate occasion.

Virginia slid deeper into crisis on Wednesday, when Attorney General Mark Herring acknowledged wearing blackface at a college party in 1980, and Fairfax was publicly accused of sexual assault for the first time.

Fairfax also addressed Watson's claim in his statement, saying: "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". "We learn from our mistakes and I'm a stronger person", Northam said. He said that an "independent investigation" being conducted by Eastern Virginia Medical School is aimed at clearing up the facts around it.

Almost 60 percent of African-Americans in Virginia want Gov. Ralph Northam to remain in office despite the recent scandal surrounding a racist photo on the Democrat's 1984 medical school yearbook page, according to a poll released Saturday.

"If these accusations are determined to be true, I don't think he's going to have any other option but to resign", Northam said.

Woman accuses elected Virginia official of sexual assault
While both sides are now being hit, the controversy kicked off last week when Democrats called for the resignation of Gov. The governor initially said he was in the photo without saying which costume he was wearing, then denied it a day later.

In a statement emailed to Heavy late Saturday night, attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks say that their client Dr. Vanessa Tyson is "fully prepared to testify at impeachment proceedings and to cooperate with law enforcement in any investigation".

Duke did distribute a statement after the Virginia game, detailing its intent to investigate the claims.

Northam said he planned to focus on addressing issues stemming from inequality, including improving access to health care, housing, and transportation. It has been an especially devastating time for the great Commonwealth of Virginia.

Republicans, including Trump, have predicted the scandal plaguing Virginia's top Democratic officials will give them the opportunity to make political gains in a state that's increasingly voted for Democrats in recent elections.

He told the Post that conversations this week with black state lawmakers, who are among those calling for him to resign, helped him better understand the history and hurtfulness of blackface, which he has admitted using in 1984 to portray Michael Jackson at a dance contest.

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Northam's approval rating has dropped to 43 percent, the lowest rating of any Virginia governor in a WaPo poll since 1997.

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