Politics

Chaos in Virginia Politics Spawns Uncertainty

After Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted this week to appearing in blackface as rapper Kurtis Blow in 1980 at a college party, state Democrats are hopeful things won’t get any worse.

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is accused of a 2004 sexual assault against a woman who’s since become a college professor — which he blatantly denies — and Gov. Ralph Northam, embroiled in his own blackface scandal, has rebuffed calls for his resignation after a photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook shows a man in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan attire.

Northam, in the second year of a four-year term, did confess to wearing blackface in the mid-1980s to portray Michael Jackson in a talent contest, but maintains that he is neither of the two images depicted in the yearbook photos, what’s more troubling on Herring’s part is that before the attorney general admitted to wearing blackface and offered his apologies, he’d join other state officials in calling for Northam’s resignation.

Meanwhile, Fairfax has accused Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney of leaking the sexual assault allegation.

Now, Virginia Democrats — who’ve spent years trying to establish a strong base in the state — fear Republicans will use these scandals to decimate their progress.

More pointedly, they fear that if Northam resigns, Fairfax, who would be next in the line of succession, wouldn’t be in a position to step up with the assault accusation hanging over him — ditto for Herring, who follows Fairfax in line.

The next in line would be Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox, a Republican.

As officials continue to dig deeper into all the allegations that began nearly a week ago, the political futures of the state’s top three elected officials lie in limbo as Virginians are left to ponder the outcome and fallout going forth.

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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