Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Jackie Speier: 'I have no reason to doubt' Justin Fairfax allegation

Jackie Speier: 'I have no reason to doubt' Justin Fairfax allegation

They also said that while they appreciated Herring's "candor" in admitting to wearing blackface, they "await further action on his part to reassure the citizens of the Commonwealth of his fitness for leadership".

The identity of the two men isn't clear from the pictures alone but the fact it appears on Northam's yearbook page is a strong suggestion one of them is him.

While almost the entire Democratic establishment rose up against Northam over the past week to demand he resign, party members did not call for immediate resignations over the two latest developments, which threaten to cause a political chain reaction that could make a GOP legislative leader the governor. This was 24 hours after apologizing for appearing in the picture and after making the most awful statement on "super" late term abortion.

Virginia's highest-ranking Republican said on Thursday that he had never worn blackface, as the state's Democratic governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general grappled with career-threatening race or sexual assault scandals.

Mrs. Speier recently nominated Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who famously accused now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her almost 40 years ago, for the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

Florida's Republican secretary of state, Michael Ertel, resigned on January 24 after the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper published photos from a Halloween party 14 years earlier showing him in blackface, wearing a T-shirt with the words: "Katrina Victim".

Gov. Justin Fairfax, who has been accused of sexual assault by a woman named Venessa Tyson, hired the law firm that represented Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh back in September on Wednesday.

Apologies by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring followed blackface appearances by celebrities such as actor Billy Crystal and late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon in recent years.

"With tremendous anguish, I am now sharing this information about my experience and setting the record straight", Tyson said in a statement.

Herring said in a statement Wednesday that he wore blackface and a wig to look like a rapper when he was a 19-year-old student at the University of Virginia. He is third in line for the governor's office and is planning to run for governor in 2021.

Vanessa Tyson, a Stanford University fellow and associate professor at Scripps College in California, released a detailed letter through her lawyers Wednesday in which she said she reluctantly went public to dispute what she called Fairfax's "smear campaign" against her.

That radio interview is what reportedly motivated a medical school classmate of Northam's to tip the media off about the yearbook photo, triggering the current avalanche of recrimination.

But he also said: "This conduct is in no way reflective of the man I have become in the almost 40 years since". Cox also urged Herring to "adhere to the standard he has set for others", a nod to Herring's previous call that Northam resign.

That single game of chance allowed Republicans to hold a majority in the House of Delegates - and may now wipe out virtually all the gains of the 2017 Democratic sweep. If he can't serve for some reason, the Republican-led House would vote for a new governor.

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