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

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CREDIT Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

A second woman has come forward with an allegation of sexual assault against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax - just days after the first allegation surfaced.

She claimed that the attack by Fairfax was "premeditated and aggressive" and said the details "are similar to those described by Dr Vanessa Tyson".

"Ms. Watson was raped by a basketball player during her sophomore year at Duke".

Earlier this week, California college professor Vanessa Tyson accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention.

But Fairfax, 39, is adamant that he will not resign, declaring that he is the victim of a smear campaign. "This is part of the sad and dark politics that the Lt. Governor has dedicated himself to helping Virginia and the nation rise above". A cascade of calls for Fairfax to resign began Friday evening, mirroring the exact timing of last week's calls for Northam to resign.

"I would like to encourage the media, my supporters, and others to treat both the woman who made this allegation and my family with respect for how painful this situation can be for everyone involved", he wrote.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, in his first interview since a racist photo from his medical school yearbook came to light a week ago, has promised to pursue racial reconciliation.

"I believe and trust that due process will provide the fairness, justice and honesty that is necessary", Fairfax said in a statement on Saturday.

In a statement, Fairfax called the latest claim "unsubstantiated" and "demonstrably false".

Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax looked like the party's salvation.

Watson has requested that Fairfax resign.

It also has stirred Democrats' concerns that political discord in Virginia, a key swing state in presidential elections, could flip it back into the Republican column in the 2020 White House race.

The drama following Virginia's state leadership is spiraling out of control as a second woman comes forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault.

State Attorney General Mark Herring has also admitted a blackface episode in 1980 while he was aged 19 in college. "The central issue at the heart of her account is consent, and there can be no better authority to decide whether it was given than Dr. Tyson herself", several Virginia Democratic lawmakers said in a statement Friday night.

Sabato says if the lieutenant governor decides to resign, Governor Northam would appoint a substitute to the position.

Boyd, whose group says it represents 109,000 farmers across the country, said on Twitter afterward that he pledged his support to the governor and "urged him NOT to step down".

Calls for Fairfax to step aside have come from state House and Senate Democrats, the Legislative Black Caucus, former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's two US senators - Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, also both Democrats - and several potential Democratic presidential hopefuls.

He said he's held conversations with black politicians who explained to him why blackface is offensive.

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