WASHINGTON — Two senior politicians at the centre of racial and sexual assault scandals roiling the Virginia state legislature say they’re not going anywhere.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who admits to wearing blackface as a college student in the 1980s, tells “CBS This Morning” that he believes he is still the best person to lead Virginia out of the past and into a new era of ethnic equality.
Northam, meanwhile, is stopping short of calling on the lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, to resign over two separate allegations of sexual assault.
Instead, he’s calling for an investigation into the allegations from two separate women who claim they were assaulted by Fairfax in 2000 and 2004. Fairfax has acknowledged the incidents, but insists they were consensual.
Northam says Fairfax, who is black and initially resisted calls for Northam’s resignation when the blackface scandal broke last week, will have to step down if the allegations against him are proven true.
Northam isn’t the only Virginia politician under fire for wearing blackface in college: Attorney General Mark Herring has also admitted to doing the same during a college party in 1980.
The scandals have rocked the Virginia state assembly, where fellow Democrat lawmaker Patrick Hope is now backing off his plan to introduce impeachment proceedings against Fairfax, saying more conversations need to take place to explore all available options.
The Canadian Press