These top Virginia Democrats are imperilled by scandals

Ralph Northam

Modal Trigger Ralph Northam Getty Images

Meanwhile, pressure has been growing on Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, after a woman released a statement alleging that he had forced her to perform a sex act on him in a hotel room in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Aides to Scott maintain that he was not made aware at that point about an alleged sexual assault in 2004 involving Fairfax.

Tyson described herself as a "proud Democrat", whose only interest was to refute the "falsehoods and aspersions of my character", she wrote.

"With tremendous anguish, I am now sharing this information about my experience and setting the record straight", Tyson said in a statement. "Given his false assertions, I'm compelled to make clear what happened".

"At no time did she express to me any discomfort or concern about our interactions, neither during that encounter, not during the months following it, when she stayed in touch with me, nor the past 15 years", he said.

Fairfax forcefully denied Tyson's allegations, writing in a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday that the encounter was consensual.

Herring was among the Virginia public officials who called for Northam's resignation.

In condemning the photo from Northam's yearbook, Herring said last Friday: "The photo, the conduct it captures, and the racist imagery invoked are all indefensible".

Racial discrimination is more explicit in Virginia, which grapples with a legacy of slavery and white supremacy, but it also exists - in a more subtle form - in Oregon, Brown said. But she stopped short of calling for them to resign.

At the Capitol, lawmakers were dumbstruck over the day's fast-breaking developments, with Democratic Sen. "We think the process is moving too rapidly", McShane said. Republican House majority leader Todd Gilbert said it would be "reckless" to comment.

After initially saying he was one of the two depicted in the photo, Northam changed his story and said neither was him.

"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".

At the same time, the Democrats nationally have taken a hard line against misconduct in their ranks because women and minorities are a vital part of their base and they want to be able to criticize Trump's behavior without looking hypocritical.

If those three Democrats were to leave office, conservative Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (R) would take the governorship.

And an IL mayor, Hal Patton of Edwardsville, was running for the state Senate in 2018 when the Belleville News-Democrat newspaper published a photo of him in blackface at a Halloween party a decade earlier.

While both sides are now being hit, the controversy kicked off last week when Democrats called for the resignation of Gov. Ralph Northam over a racist photograph featured on his personal page in his 1984 medical school yearbook.

Northam admitted at first that he was in the photo without saying which costume he was wearing. But he did admit wearing dark shoe polish on his face to imitate pop singer Michael Jackson while he was in the Army in 1984. "The photo would be profoundly offensive in any circumstances, but it is also shocking and deeply disappointing to know that it pictures Governor Northam". Virginia's Attorney General, Mark Herring, said, "It is no longer possible for Gov. Northam to lead our Commonwealth".

But he added: "This conduct is in no way reflective of the man I have become in the almost 40 years since".

In the statement, Herring said he and two friends dressed up to look like rappers they listened to, including Kurtis Blow.

"He said he was very sorry", Lucas said.

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