Race and sexism scandal engulfs Virginia officials

Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate at the Virginia State Capitol Feb 7 2019 in Richmond Virginia

Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate at the Virginia State Capitol Feb 7 2019 in Richmond Virginia

"It has all been about political power".

Although Herring says he takes responsibility for his actions, he also stated his "conduct is in no way reflective of the man I have become in the almost 40 years since". Northam initially said he was in the photo, then denied it, but acknowledged putting shoe polish on his face for a dance contest in Texas in 1984, when he was in the army.

Herring, 57, who has served as attorney general since 2014, apologised for what he described as "callous and inexcusable lack of awareness". Virginia's attorney general Mark Herring-who called for Northam's resignation-also admitted to wearing blackface in college.

Mr Herring would be next in line to be governor after Mr Fairfax.

Within the last six days, Virginia's Democratic leadership has begun collapsing on itself after three of its high-level members were caught up in scandal after scandal.

Kirk Cox, 61, the Republican speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, is third in the state's constitutional line of succession.

Now, Democrats are struggling with a confusing set of questions, trying to separate the three scandals into different baskets.

In 2017, the party pushed Sen.

Democratic US Senator Al Franken resigned in 2017 after being accused of sexual misconduct.

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Herring came down hard on Northam when the yearbook photo surfaced, condemning it as "indefensible", and "profoundly offensive".

Democrats did not seem to pass that test Wednesday.

In defending Fairfax, some Democrats embraced similar themes that Republicans used to try to deflect accusations that Kavanaugh assaulted Christine Blasey Ford at a high school party: There was no contemporaneous report at the time, Tyson did not tell any friends at the time, and these allegations landed at a moment when Fairfax seemed poised to get a big promotion.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, another 2020 candidate, told CNN the allegation was "deeply, deeply disturbing" and praised Tyson for coming forward. "This can be painful", Castro said.

"They were successful", Professor Barnes concluded, "and because of that success, blackface has become so taboo that most Americans don't know the through line of how and why these stereotypes were transmitted to us". "But it doesn't change the fact that Northam needs to resign". Mr. Fairfax has tried to brand me as a liar to a national audience, in service to his political ambitions, and has threatened litigation. Barbara Favola of Virginia saying, "I have to take a breath and think about this". "I think that would obviously be less pain for everyone". This is moving way too quickly. In another statement on Wednesday, he said that the encounter with Tyson was consensual.

Guy Cecil, head of the major Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, was one of the earlier national Democrats to demand Northam's resignation. "They need to sweep their own porch before sitting in judgment of another".

Other Democrats have urged caution and raised suspicions about why Fairfax is now facing the charges.

In the statement released Wednesday, Tyson wrote that she "suffered from both deep humiliation and shame" after her encounter with Fairfax, and she did not speak about the encounter for years.

"When the politics are bad - and they're bad - and everything else sucks, as it does now, just follow the principles", Kaine said. "It was really a minimisation of both people of colour and a minimisation of a horrific history I knew well even then".

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