Whether Virginia Governor Ralph Northam resigns just got more complicated. If Northam steps down because of racist photos in his yearbook, the lieutenant governor would replace him. But Justin Fairfax faces his own challenges: a woman accused him of sexual assault.
Fairfax denies the claims and refers to the incident at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston as consensual sex. To complicate matters further, Fairfax has accused Northam’s supporters of a “smear” campaign:
“Does anybody think it’s any coincidence that on the eve of potentially my being elevated that that’s when this uncorroborated smear comes out?”
Fairfax also questioned whether Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond may have been involved in the accusation to which Stoney responded, “The insinuation is 100 percent not true, and frankly it’s offensive.”
For its part, Eastern Virginia Medical School is investigating how the racist photos got into the 1984 yearbook.
What’s your view of Fairfax’s response?
Should a 2004 sexual assault charge prevent Fairfax from replacing Northam?
Should the replacement issue drive whether Northam resigns?
What is the medical school’s responsibility in this situation?