Blackface, sexual assault & full-birth abortion: Virginia Democrats in crisis

Manassas VA. He admitted on Feb. 6 2019 that he wore blackface to a college party amid the controversy surrounding resurfaced

Virginia attorney-general admits to wearing blackface in college as scandal spreads

Tyson alleges she met Fairfax when they were both working at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004.

But then rumours began circulating of another controversial photo, and this time it was Herring who was said to been in "blackface".

But Fairfax, a fellow Democrat who would become the second black governor in the state's history and the youngest now serving governor in the country, soon faced allegations of his own: Vanessa Tyson, an associate professor at Scripps College and fellow at Stanford University, accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her when they were both attending the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, allegations he has denied. The Associated Press typically does not identify those who say they were sexually assaulted, but the 42-year-old college professor from California issued the statement in her name.

Aides to Scott maintain that he was not made aware at that point about an alleged sexual assault in 2004 involving Fairfax. But Tyson denies politics has anything to do with it, saying she is a Democrat, like Fairfax.

The state's lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, was seen as a rising star in the Democratic party, and would have been expected to take Northam's place if he resigned. In another statement on Wednesday, he said that the encounter with Tyson was consensual.

Fairfax has repeatedly denied her allegations, saying that the encounter was consensual and that he is the victim of a strategically timed political smear.

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Tyson said she became embroiled in the issue most recently in a cryptic Facebook post she wrote after news stories suggested that the racist photo scandal surrounding Northam could elevate Fairfax to the governor's job.

The disclosure further roils the top levels of Virginia government, which has been hit with one crisis after another since the yearbook picture came to light last Friday.

"I think there should be an investigation to determine what happened", Harris told reporters on Capitol Hill. This is moving way too quickly. That single game of chance allowed Republicans to hold a majority in the House of Delegates - and may now wipe out virtually all the gains of the 2017 Democratic sweep.

In his initial apology, Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said that the photo does not represent who he is now.

"Having offered up a series of evolving apologies explanations for what he did 35 years ago he has undermined the credibility of the office of governor and his own ability as a chief exec in Virginia to govern".

And yet, no major Democratic presidential candidate - or other party leader - has called for Fairfax's resignation.

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If all three step aside, the next in line to be governor is the Republican House speaker.

Scott, however, is not calling for Fairfax to step down and it is unclear what, if anything, he did with the information his friend gave him.

The Democratic approach stands in contrast to the recent strategy by Republicans, who have stuck with Trump after he brushed off allegations of sexual misconduct to win the White House and weathered repeated scandals in office.

With Governor Ralph Northam's career already hanging by a thread over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook, the day's developments threatened to take down all three of Virginia's top elected officials, all of them Democrats. NBC host Megyn Kelly had her show canceled and was ousted from the network previous year, after she suggested that wearing blackface is acceptable as part of a costume.

But the governor did admit that he had once applied shoe polish on his face - to imitate Michael Jackson during a 1984 dance contest.

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