Northam Suggests The Racist Photo Scandal Could Make Him A Better Governor

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"Mr. Fairfax's attack was premeditated and aggressive", Watson's statement read. "The two were friends but never dated or had any romantic relationship".

According to Watson's attorneys, former classmates have provided statements corroborating the allegations and that she "immediately told friends that Fairfax had raped her". Watson reportedly told Fairfax about the incident. Through her lawyers, she said that she was "reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty".

Fairfax denied Watson's allegation in a statement Friday, The Washington Post reported, saying it was "demonstrably false".

"I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation".

Northam said he believes the "horrific" scandal has better positioned him to address critical social issues, even while the state's black lawmakers continue pressing him to resign.

'I had the shoes, I had a glove, and I used just a little bit of shoe polish to put under my or on my - cheeks.

Fairfax vowed to clear his "good name" and noted he has passed Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks and run for office "with nothing like this being raised before".

"I urge everyone to take survivors of sexual assault seriously, and to help build an environment that is safe and supportive for everyone".

Fairfax is also facing accusations of sexual assault from his first accuser, Vanessa Tyson, who came forward earlier this week to publicly accuse the 39-year-old of forcing her to perform oral sex during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

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Those denials are not enough for him to keep his job, according to his fellow Democrats in the state Legislature.

Fairfax called the allegation a political smear. "The time has come for him to step down". Northam initially apologized for appearing in the photo, which was featured on a page with his name on it, but the next day said he is neither person in the picture.

Although the alleged assault took place in 2004, Tyson said she did not begin to disclose the events to anyone until she heard of Fairfax's campaign for lieutenant governor in 2017.

He said he will ensure that there will be "sensitivity training" in the government, adding that he will also reach out to schools across Virginia to talk about sensitivity training as well.

"The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible". It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor,"former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe tweeted Friday after Watson's allegation surfaced".

Democrats have until now focused their resignation calls on Governor Ralph Northam. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Virginia), Sen. Fairfax is one of the top three Democrats in Virginia, all of whom face potentially career-ending allegations of sexual misconduct or racism. Consequently, I call on all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI, to investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me by Ms. Watson and Dr. Tyson.

But Meredith Watson has.

"A week ago nearly exactly, Justin Fairfax seemed to be just hours away from taking the oath of office as governor and now the governor is staying in and he may be the one to go", Sabato said.

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