Ralph Northam won't resign, will start a racial 'reconciliation tour'

Cheryl Sanders
February 10, 2019

A second woman has accused embattled Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, with his office still reeling from last week's claims he'd assaulted a female professor at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The governor, also a Democrat, earlier this month admitted to using blackface, after the discovery of a racist image on his page in a decades-old yearbook. "We respect all survivors and believe they should be fully heard", the House Democratic Caucus said in a Friday statement that did not name Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax or Attorney General Mark Herring. "We learn from our mistakes and I'm a stronger person", Northam said.

Expanding Medicaid a year ago was a good start, he said, but state government needs to be aggressive about enrolling residents.

Gov. Justin Fairfax on Saturday urged the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into sexual assault allegations against him, insisting that the encounters with his accusers were "consensual".

In an official statement, Fairfax strongly denied Tyson's allegations, insisting that the encounter was "consensual".

She said "Mr Fairfax's attack was premeditated and aggressive" and the details "are similar to those described by Dr Vanessa Tyson".

In his initial apology, Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said that the photo does not represent who he is now. As with Fairfax, there have been emphatic calls for their resignations, including from leading figures in their own party.

Fairfax denies both allegations. Fairfax has maintained the allegations against him are not true. "I call for his immediate resignation". After the second allegation was made Friday, Fairfax - who stands to become the state's second black governor if Gov. Ralph Northam resigns over a racist photo - was barraged with demands to step down from top Democrats, including a number of presidential hopefuls and most of Virginia's congressional delegation.

That call was echoed by almost every member of Virginia's national congressional delegation, including Rep. Jennifer Wexton.

Many Democrats who had carefully withheld judgment after the first accusation against Fairfax, saying the matter needed to be investigated, immediately condemned him. If I had it to do over again, I would step back and take a deep breath'.

He revealed that Ms. Watson was the victim of a prior rape. The man said he finds it almost impossible to believe that Tyson would have performed oral sex without being forced. She only began to tell friends about the alleged assault in October 2017, after seeing a photo of Fairfax next to an article about his campaign.

Wexton also signed a joint statement with four other congressional representatives.

The possibility of all three top-ranked leaders of Virginia's executive branch having to resign raised the prospect of Democrats losing the governorship to the Republican Speaker of the state House of Delegates, who is next in the line of succession. "Given the credible nature of the sexual assault claims against Lieutenant Governor Fairfax, it has become clear he can no longer fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the post".

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