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Virginia Democratic Party turns on Fairfax, demands resignation

February 9, 2019

The Virginia Democratic Party added its voice Saturday to the chorus calling for Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to resign, saying he’s lost the party’s confidence.

Party Chair Susan Swecker said that the claims of rape lodged against the lieutenant governor are “credible,” and while he has the presumption of innocence, he should fight the allegations as a private citizen.

“The lieutenant governor no longer has our confidence or support. He must resign,” she said in a statement Saturday morning, a day after a second accuser came forward to describe a decades-old rape while she and Mr. Fairfax attended Duke University.

Most of the state’s congressional delegation and the Democratic Caucuses in the state House and Senate issued calls Friday for Mr. Fairfax to go.

One Democratic delegate to the state House said he’ll introduce articles of impeachment on Monday.

He, however, has called the allegations a smear campaign and has vowed to remain in office.

The result is a political crackup of historic proportions, with the party also on record asking Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after he admitted to wearing blackface in 1984, and also was discovered to have a photo of someone in blackface and another person in a KKK costume on his medical school yearbook page.

State Attorney General Mark Herring, after calling on the governor to resign over the blackface incident, then announced he, too, wore blackface in 1980.

The three, all Democrats, are the only statewide elected office-holders in Virginia government.

The mess has left some liberal groups calling for a complete decapitation of the entire lot though they are also trying to figure out how to avoid losing political control.

If all three went at the same time, the state House speaker, a Republican, would be next in line to become governor.

But there are plenty of other permutations, including Mr. Northam naming a new lieutenant governor if Mr. Fairfax resigns. That person could ascend to the governorship if Mr. Northam resigns, which would mean the state could have a governor who’s never faced election.

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