Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, third in line for the governorship, is the latest Virginia Democrat to be rocked by a scandal.
In a statement Herring posted to Twitter, he admitted to wearing blackface when he was younger. Herring explained that he and his friends “dressed like rappers” to attend a party and used “brown makeup” to darken his skin.
Although there haven’t been any photos released of Herring with the makeup on, he noted that he felt it was his responsibility to come clean, saying “the stakes are high and our spirit is low.” He also stated that guilt from wearing blackface has “haunted” him for years.
Please see my statement below. pic.twitter.com/FBDcgxHOq9
— Mark Herring (@MarkHerringVA) February 6, 2019
Herring’s revelation came forward after a week of chaos in Richmond. Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam sparked national controversy after he refused to condemn late-term abortion even after the child is delivered.
Days later, a photo of the governor’s college yearbook page was released that depicted two men, one in blackface and one in a Ku Klux Klan robe. The photo, first published by Big League Politics, outraged many. Northam denied he was in that picture but admitted to wearing blackface in the past.
The photo and the admission of past blackface incidents left Northam facing calls for resignation, which put Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax in the spotlight. Unfortunately for Fairfax, his newfound national attention was met with allegations of a past sexual assault.
Fairfax denied that he ever sexually assaulted anyone. He pointed to the fact that The Washington Post had been tipped on the story but refused to run it because of “inconsistencies.”
— Justin Fairfax (@LGJustinFairfax) February 4, 2019
But when Fairfax pointed that out, the Post denied that the story had inconsistencies. Rather, it declined to publish the story because of a lack of corroborative evidence.
Fairfax and the woman told different versions of what happened in the hotel room with no one else present. The 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.
When Fairfax was questioned about the allegations during a staff meeting, he reportedly only had explicit language to address the accuser.
NBC News has learned that Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax used profane language in a private meeting Monday night, while referring to his accuser, Dr. Vanessa Tyson.
Two sources tells us Fairfax said of Tyson: “Fuck that bitch.”
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) February 6, 2019
As it stands now, Northam is refusing to resign despite calls from many. There has been less attention on Fairfax’s resignation, with many Democrats dodging questions about the allegations. However, as IJR reported, some believe Democrats would be hypocritical to give Fairfax a pass after their calls for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh to be barred from the Supreme Court for similar allegations.
That leaves Herring as third in line for the governorship. However, he now faces a problem similar to that of Northam.
As the commonwealth’s constitution dictates, the fourth in line for the governorship would be the Speaker of the House of Delegates. That is a big problem for some Democrats because the current speaker is Del. Kirk Cox, a Republican.
Needless to say, Virginia is in a mess and it isn’t clear what will happen if the dominos start to fall.