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.
Following the Northam and initial Fairfax allegation, Attorney General Mark Herring - in line to become governor if Northam and Fairfax resign - admitted putting on blackface in the 1980s, when he was a college student.
"Despite all of the distractions from the continuing controversies involving our statewide elected officials, I am intent on fulfilling the work of the people of Virginia by passing a fiscally responsible budget that provides tax relief for working families", Norment said.
Democratic Virginia state Sen.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has told his staff that he doesn't intend to resign his office, his communication director, Ofirah Yheskel, told NPR member station WCVE Friday.
Norment is the first Virginia Republican to be touched by an ever widening scandal about past displays of racism that has engulfed the state's top Democrats.
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"It is obvious that a vicious and co-ordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me". "I call for his immediate resignation", McAuliffe wrote on Twitter.
The scandals have rattled the Democratic Party in a state where it has been gaining ground in recent years and that will play a key role in picking the victor of the 2020 presidential elections. A woman says Fairfax's possible promotion compelled her to publicly accuse him of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago in an encounter Fairfax says was consensual.
Numerous state's Democrats have called on Northam to step down over the yearbook photo, which shows one person in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan attire. After Northam initially admitted to appearing in the image, he retracted that admission, adding that he had indeed darkened his face for a separate dance contest around the same time.
When a reporter asked Norment to talk about the yearbook Thursday, the majority leader said, "The only thing I'm talking about today is the budget". "And I believe Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax must resign", Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., tweeted.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said earlier this week that he wore brown makeup to a college party in 1980 because he wanted to look like rappers he listened to, specifically mentioning Kurtis Blow. "The Democrats have sacrificed their morals and values for political expediency".
The improbable scenario of the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general all forced by scandal to resign has raised the prospect of the Democrats losing the governorship to a Republican - Kirk Cox, who as speaker of the House of Delegates is third in the line of succession under the state's constitution.