Fairfax faces calls from many fellow Democrats to resign after Watson's accusation followed one by Scripps College professor Vanessa Tyson, who accused Fairfax of assaulting her at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, as the Post and others reported.
The Democrat - now a year into his four-year term - announced his intention to stay at a Friday afternoon Cabinet meeting, according to a senior official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
That's when Gov. Northam chose to hold a press conference and announce that, actually, he wasn't in the year book picture.
Northam, Fairfax and Herring, who are now all facing calls to resign, represent the top three rungs in the line of succession of Virginia's governorship, the fourth being Stephen Newman, the president pro tempore of the Senate of Virginia.
At the same time, Governor Ralph Northam made his first public appearance since refusing to resign.
Dillard and Bowen, both members of a group of young blacks active in Virginia politics, said Northam should immediately allocate at least $20 million to the state's historically black colleges and universities, which have been underfunded.
"We have heard from numerous press sources that in response to Meredith Watson revealing that Justin Fairfax raped her when she was a student at Duke, Mr. Fairfax has chosen to attack his victim again, now smearing her with the typical "she's nuts" defense".
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"Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character", her attorney, Nancy Erika Smith said.
Watson's representatives declined to provide further documentation and said their client would not talk to journalists. Fairfax has emphatically denied both allegations and said he won't resign. Later, Northam said localities should decide but that he thought they would be best placed in museums.
From left: Justin Fairfax, Mark Herring and Ralph Northam are seen in Richmond in December 2017. Northam, who has resisted mounting pressure to resign since he became embroiled in his own scandal a week ago, indicated in an earlier email message on Friday to state employees that he planned to remain in his post. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of NY and Elizabeth Warren of MA.
Many are struggling to come to grips with a list of nagging questions: Do they forgive the Democrats, keep Republicans out of power and demand the governor get serious about racism?
Calls for Fairfax to step aside have come from state House and Senate Democrats, the Legislative Black Caucus, former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's two US senators - Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, also both Democrats - and several potential Democratic presidential hopefuls. Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger, Jennifer Wexton, Don Beyer and Gerry Connolly who issued a joint statement. The Legislative Black Caucus comprises only a portion of the legislature's Democratic seats.
House Minority Leader Del.
The head of Virginia's House of Delegates is calling for the resignation of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. The allegations against him detail atrocious crimes, and he can no longer effectively serve the Commonwealth.