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.