Virginia Will Elect GOP to Top Posts in 2020

Ralph Northam

Ralph Northam

Virginia's highest-ranking Republican said on Thursday (Feb 7) that he had never worn blackface, as the state's Democratic governor, lieutenant-governor and attorney-general grappled with career-threatening race or sexual assault scandals.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring also made a statement acknowledging that he dressed in Blackface while in college.

Virginia is embroiled in political turmoil following the discovery last week of a racist photo on Northam's medical school yearbook page.

FAIRFAX, VA - NOVEMBER 07: Gov. -elect Ralph Northam (R) and Lt. Gov. -elect Justin Fairfax greet supporters at an election night rally November 7, 2017 in Fairfax, Virginia. Northam denied to being in the picture one day later and then admitted during a press conference that he wore shoe polish to darken his face to imitate Michael Jackson. Kirk Cox, 61, the Republican speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, is No. 3 in line to succeed the governor.

Herring, 57, who has served as attorney general since 2014, apologised for what he described as "callous and inexcusable lack of awareness".

"I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now".

He said he and two friends dressed up to look like rappers they listened to, including Kurtis Blow, admitting: "It sounds ridiculous even now writing it".

Lucas said the black lawmakers told Herring they needed to discuss their next steps among themselves. While Fairfax has asked for his family and Tyson's family to be respected and given privacy, he has continually stuck to his initial statement that he has nothing to hide.

Mr Northam has come under pressure from almost the entire state and national Democratic establishment to resign after the discovery of a photo on his profile page in the Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook of someone in blackface standing next to a person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.

Blackface is makeup traditionally used by non-black performers to mock African Americans and was prevalent in minstrel shows in the 19th century.

Northam, who is white, initially apologised and conceded he was in the photo.

Professor Tyson has hired Katz Marshall & Banks to represent her in the matter, a firm that most of us last saw representing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in the Kavanaugh hearings, dutifully shepherding her through the traumatic experience of testifying about her attack to the Senate Judiciary Committee before the Senate ignored everything she said because a belligerent drunk told them to.

According to Tyson's letter, she and Fairfax had struck up a "cordial, but not flirtatious" friendship while working at the 2004 Democratic National Convention after learning that they had a mutual friend.

She said that "what began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault" and that Fairfax forced her head to his crotch, where he had unzipped his trousers.

"After the assault, I suffered from both deep humiliation and shame". She has no political motivations, she added, and is a "proud Democrat". She went into disturbing detail about the incident in a new statement Wednesday afternoon. "As I said in my statement this morning, I have nothing to hide". "I have never done anything like what she suggests".

Since the #MeToo movement emerged, Tyson has been frequently quoted as an expert about the intersection of politics and sexual assault and harassment claims, including the allegations by multiple women that triggered the 2017 resignation of Sen.

He admitted at first that he was in the photo without saying which costume he was wearing.

Shortly afterward, the state's two USA senators and seven Democratic congressmen took a similar approach.

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