It has been a terrible, horrible, not good, very bad week for Democrats in Virginia. Just a few months after voters had entrusted the Dems with the levers of government in this traditionally purple state, pretty much every Dem in a position of power has proved themselves to be a little horrifying.
Governor Ralph Northam, having won his election over the unapologetic racist dog whistles of Ed Gillespie, was discovered to have embraced the nickname "Coonman" and deeply disturbing racist tropes like blackface and Klan outfits. Attorney General Mark Herring, the next in line behind Justin Fairfax, also came forward with the admission of blackface in his past. Just a good tip going forward for future Democratic candidates: don't run if you have blackface pics out there.
Initially, when the stories about Northam--initiated by right wing ratfckers, angry that he would support a bill to allow Virginian women bodily autonomy--came out, the calls were for Northam to step down and allow his lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, to fill the role. Northam has so far resisted, but to add to the dumpster fire of scandals that is Virginia now, sexual assault allegations against Fairfax came out.
Fairfax, like Northam, resisted stepping down in the face of the accusation. But on Friday, a second allegation, and a much more brutal rape charge, came forward, bolstered by contemporaneous accounts. Almost immediately, Democratic figures like Sens. Kamala Harris and Tim Kaine, former VA governor Terry McAuliffe, and Congressman Ted Lieu, among many others, have called for Fairfax to step down.
And now, the Virginia Democratic Party has called for him to step down too.
At this point, Fairfax is refusing all calls and demanding an investigation (making the very poor decision to cast aspersions on both accusers).
Off the record, there are Democratic advisors who say there are other accusations who have not yet come forward. But a state delegate promises that if Fairfax does not resign this weekend, he will introduce articles of impeachment against him.
It's hard to see how Fairfax survives this.