Pressure mounts on Virginia Democrats over sex assault, racism scandals

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A Virginia Democrat who planned to introduce an impeachment bill targeting Fairfax is backing off, citing the need for "additional conversations".

The allegation comes from Meredith Watson, who has also accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

Embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is blaming his white privilege on recent accusations of racism.

"What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault", she said in the very explicit statement. Democrats have been gaining power in the Southern state in the last few election years. Herring, who would become governor if both Northam and Fairfax leave office, initially made a forceful call for Northam to step down, but then he too acknowledged wearing blackface at a party in 1980. Attorney General Mark Herring has also admitted to having worn blackface. Fairfax says he will not resign.

Dr. Vanessa Tyson, a tenured professor at Scripps College, has accused Fairfax of sexual assault at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Duke University, where Fairfax earned a bachelor's degree, last week asked him to step down from the Sanford School of Public Policy Board of Visitors until the allegations are resolved. "The message being sent to victims of sexual assault is chilling". Fairfax insists his interactions with two female accusers were consensual. After the second allegation was made Friday, Fairfax - the second African-American to ever win statewide office - was barraged with demands to step down from top Democrats, including a number of presidential hopefuls and most of Virginia's congressional delegation.

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"At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character", Smith said, according to the written statement. He said the scandals have eroded voters' faith in the party to put forward good candidates, and any perceived racial disparities in consequences may cause further harm. "There could be complete justification for that, but it looks awful".

Although the Democratic Party has taken nearly a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct among its members in this #MeToo era, a housecleaning in Virginia could be costly to them: If all three Democrats resigned, Republican Cox would become governor.

Northam said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that it's been a hard week since a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook surfaced, showing a person wearing blackface next to another person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. He also repeated his contention that he is not pictured in the photo on his yearbook page that shows someone in blackface standing alongside someone in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.

"When I was confronted with the images yesterday I was appalled that they appeared on my page", Northam said during a press conference on February 2, "but I believe then and now, that I am not either of the people in that photo". "Before slavery truly became institutionalized in the colonies, some Africans were sometimes treated more like indentured servants who were freed once their service ended or debt had been paid", the National Museum of African American History & Culture said.

"I have never sexually assaulted anyone in my life and I completely and categorically deny any such charge", Maggette said in a statement reported by The New York Times.

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