Virginia lieutenant governor resists calls to step down

Video Fairfax...It is obvious that a vicious and co-ordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against

Video Fairfax...It is obvious that a vicious and co-ordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM (CBS THIS MORNING/D-Virginia/@GovernorVA): Well, it has been a hard week.

"When you're in a state of shock like I was, we don't always think as clearly as we should", said Northam, who worked for years as a pediatric neurologist before entering politics.

"Right now, Virginia needs someone that can heal. And that's why I'm not going anywhere". (Northam still denies that he appeared in either blackface or a Klan robe in racist photos in his medical-school yearbook page.) On Saturday, the governor told the Washington Post that he "overreacted" when he initially apologized for the yearbook photos and said that he would commit the rest of his term to addressing inequality. Northam has denied being either person in the photo, but he has said he wore blackface on a separate occasion.

Ralph Northam places hand over his heart at a funeral for a state trooper Saturday in Chilhowie, Va., during one of his first public appearances since the blackface scandal broke.

Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope (D) will hold off on filing the paperwork to begin impeachment proceedings against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), saying in a statement on Monday he's "open to discussions on other avenues that would accomplish the same goals". And now, Justin Fairfax, the lieutenant governor of Virginia, is following that high-stakes precedent. A housecleaning could be costly: If all three Democrats resign, Republican state House Speaker Kirk Cox would become Virginia's governor. Several women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault, prompting many Democrats to call for his resignation. Fortunately, Gayle King quickly jumps in (thank goodness) and interjects, "Also known as slavery".

As for taking Virginia to the "next level", that's basically a meaningless/trite cliche, but I will say one thing positive: IF Ralph Northam is serious about racial reconcilation, equity and justice, and IF he devotes himself wholeheartedly to these things during whatever time he remains governor, PERHAPS some good can come out of this nightmare.

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GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM: And, you know, while we have made a lot of progress in- in Virginia, slavery has ended, schools have been desegregated. "As a firm, we believe that it is important to seriously listen to any allegation of sexual assault or harassment, and to treat all persons making such allegations with respect and sensitivity", the chairman of the firm, Larren Nashelsky, said.

The Democrat was first accused of sexually assaulting Vanessa Tyson at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 where he allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him. However, Fairfax insists the charges are false and wants an FBI investigation.

Virginia's embattled lieutenant governor has urged authorities to investigate sexual assault allegations made against him, but he hasn't heeded calls to resign and it is unclear what comes next for the once-rising star of the state Democratic Party. He said an accusation by a second woman that he raped her when they were both students at Duke University in 2000 was "demonstrably false" and has demanded a full investigation.

But Fairfax, 39, is adamant that he will not resign, declaring that he is the victim of a smear campaign.

Northam claimed he has changed a lot as a person since his college days. He's a Republican, which is giving the Democratic officerholders another reason to try to keep their positions.

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