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HomeNewsPoliticsVirginia Gov. Ralph Northam Weighing Options

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Weighing Options

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam speaks at a rally in Richmond in October. (Reuters)

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Denies Sexual Assault Allegations

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam speaks at a rally in Richmond in October. (Reuters)
Then-Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam speaks at a rally in Richmond in October. (Reuters)

Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is weighing his options, as Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax vehemently denies sexual assault allegations.

Governor Northam was under fire for his comments surrounding and support for a bill that would legalize abortion up until the baby was born. But it was a photo published by the conservative website Big League Politics that caused his own party to turn on him.

Originally, Governor Northam, who smeared Republican opponent Ed Gillespie as a racist, apologized for appearing in a yearbook photo wearing either a blackface or KuKluxKlan costume.

But he reversed his position, later stating he did not believe he is either of the men in the 1980s-era yearbook photo from AMI. Further, he did admit to painting his face black once to Moonwalk as Michael Jackson.

That explanation did not suffice for members of his own party, who want him gone amid controversial and unpopular late-term abortion bills.

As pressure on the governor to resign continues to mount, the same website published accusations against Lt. Governor Fairfax.

Stanford Fellow Vanessa Tyson’s allegations date back to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. While Lt. Governor Fairfax confirmed those allegations are not new, his office vehemently denied their veracity.

Lawrence Roberts, Chief of Staff, and Communications Director Lauren Burke, released a joint statement saying “an online publication released a false and unsubstantiated allegation against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax.”

“Lt. Governor Fairfax has an outstanding and well-earned reputation for
treating people with dignity and respect. He has never assaulted anyone —
ever — in any way, shape, or form,” they said in the statement.

It continues:

The person reported to be making this false allegation first approached the Washington Post—one of the nation’s most prominent newspapers—more than a year ago, around the time of the Lieutenant Governor’s historic inauguration. The Post carefully investigated the claim for several months. After being presented with facts consistent with the Lt. Governor’s denial of the allegation, the absence of any evidence corroborating the allegation, and significant red lags and inconsistencies within the allegation, the Post made the considered decision not to publish the story.

Tellingly, not one other reputable media outlet has seen fit to air this false claim. Only now, at a time of intense media attention surrounding Virginia politics, has this false claim been raised again.

This is part of the sad and dark politics that the Lt. Governor has dedicated himself to helping Virginia and the nation rise above.

The Lt. Governor will take appropriate legal action against those attempting to spread this defamatory and false allegation.

While The Washington Post confirmed receiving the allegations in late 2017, they did not corroborate finding significant red flags with the allegation.

“Fairfax and the woman told different versions of what happened in the hotel room with no one else present,” the paper said. “The Washington Post could not find anyone who could corroborate either version. The Post did not find ‘significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegations,’ as the Fairfax statement incorrectly said.”

Meanwhile, Morning Consult found a 41-percentage-point drop in Governor Northam’s net approval rating. Worth noting, the poll conducted Feb. 2-3 was only of 291 voters statewide, and has a 6-point margin of error.

It found 48% disapprove of his job performance, up 22 points from a Jan. 1-30 survey of 4,326 Virginia voters that had a 1-point margin of error. His approval in the latest poll was 29%, down 19 points from the prior survey.

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