Virginia blackface scandal: Ralph Northam vows to stay as governor

Pastor Lacette Cross speaks during a protest calling for Governor Ralph Northam to resign on Monday
Credit
Shelby Lum

Northam denied being in that picture but admitted to dressing in blackface for a social event that same year.

Meanwhile, after ignoring calls for his own resignation, Northam is declining to weigh in on whether Fairfax or Herring should step down.

Fairfax is one of three top Democrats in the state engulfed by scandal this month.

Northam's pledge Sunday to work on healing Virginia's racial divide was his second in as many days. Signaling plans to resume business as usual, he also announced more than a dozen state board appointments.

"Ms. Watson stands ready, although it will be painful, to tell the Virginia Legislature what Mr. Fairfax did to her when she was 20 years old", said Nancy Erika Smith, attorney for Watson.

Watson's representatives declined to provide further documentation and said their client would not be talking to journalists.

A copy of the resolution, obtained by CNN, reads, "the House of Delegates believes all allegations of sexual assault must be taken with the utmost seriousness", and describes the allegations made by the two women as "credible in nature".

In this undated photo provided by Scripps College, Vanessa Tyson, an associate professor in politics at Scripps College, poses for a photo.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said that he considered quitting, but has decided he's "not going anywhere" because the state "needs someone that can heal" it. The two were students at Duke University at the time. Durham police spokesman Wil Glenn also said he couldn't find a report in the department's system on the 2000 allegation.

In a telephone interview with The Washington Post Sunday night, as fellow Democrats considered launching impeachment proceedings against him, Fairfax repeated his claim that he did not sexually assault his two accusers or anyone else. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of NY, and Elizabeth Warren of MA. Gillibrand called the details "sickening and horrendous".

Fairfax has denied both allegations and on Saturday asked that "no one rush to judgment". Now many fret their current crisis in leadership will not only cost them chances of winning GOP-held seats, but also several seats currently held by Democrats.

Despite this year's elections in Virginia being scheduled to take place only in November, former Democratic presidential hopeful and ex-first lady of the United States Hillary Clinton urged her supporters to prepare for the electoral process.

He maintains that the sex with the women was consensual and he is the victim of a political "smear".

"We can not ever ignore or tolerate sexual assault", wrote Kaine, who was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 presidential election.

The Virginia Black Legislative Caucus joined calls for Fairfax's departure.

Despite the calls on Northam to step down, greater pressure was focused on Fairfax, after a state House member, Patrick Hope, declared on Friday that he would introduce articles of impeachment on Monday unless the lieutenant-governor resigns.

It's unclear who the people in the picture are, but the rest of the page is filled with pictures of Northam and lists his undergraduate alma mater and other information about him. He's a Republican, which is giving the Democratic officerholders another reason to try to keep their positions.

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