Though Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has so far remained defiant over calls for him to resign following the publication of racist photos from his 1984 medical school yearbook, the man who could be his successor is also in hot water.
Reports Monday noted that Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, also a Democrat, is denying new sexual assault allegations against him, throwing his succession into doubt as well.
“Lt. Governor Fairfax has an outstanding and well-earned reputation for treating people with dignity and respect,” Fairfax’s chief of staff and communications director said in a statement Monday. “He has never assaulted anyone — ever — in any way, shape, or form.”
— Justin Fairfax (@LGJustinFairfax) February 4, 2019
Fairfax’s statement is likely in reference to a claim by a woman, Venessa Tyson, who said she was assaulted sexually by Fairfax at the Democratic National Committee convention some 10 years ago.
“Imagine you were sexually assaulted during the DNC Convention in Boston in 2004 by a campaign staffer. You spend the next 13 years trying to forget it ever happened” Tyson wrote. “Then by strange, horrible luck, it seems increasingly likely that he’ll get a VERY BIG promotion.”
“This is Vanessa Tyson’s private post. She gave permission to share this screenshot of her post. She’s a professor…”
— Culttture (@culttture) February 4, 2019
Tyson currently works as a professor at Scripps College in California. The statement from Fairfax’s communications director, however, seemed to reject the woman’s claim.
“This is part of the sad and dark politics that the Lt. Governor has dedicated himself to helping Virginia and the nation rise above,” the statement from Fairfax’s office said.
Northam, meanwhile, is under assault — by Democrats and Republicans alike — to resign after a yearbook picture on his med school page depicting one person in blackface and another wearing a full KKK robe and hood was published on Friday.
Northam held an emergency meeting Sunday with staff during the Super Bowl and is holding another Monday morning, many believe in anticipation of resigning.
If he does, Fairfax would be his successor.
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