Updated: Virginia House Dems Seek More Time on Resignation Deman - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Virginia Democrats Try to Thread the Needle on Crisis

Posted: Updated:
In this Jan. 12, 2018 file photo, Virginia Gov.-elect, Lt. Gov Ralph Northam, center, walks down the reviewing stand with Lt. Gov-elect, Justin Fairfax, right, and Attorney General Mark Herring at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. (Photo: AP) In this Jan. 12, 2018 file photo, Virginia Gov.-elect, Lt. Gov Ralph Northam, center, walks down the reviewing stand with Lt. Gov-elect, Justin Fairfax, right, and Attorney General Mark Herring at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. (Photo: AP)

RICHMOND, Va.- Confronted with a three-ring scandal in the party's top ranks, Virginia Democrats are trying to thread the needle, demanding anew that Gov. Ralph Northam resign but giving the benefit of the doubt - for the time being - to the lieutenant governor and attorney general.           

Key Democratic groups began weighing in late Thursday after the widening crisis rendered them practically speechless for a day. Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring have admitted wearing blackface as young men in the 1980s, while Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is accused of sexually assaulting a woman 15 years ago, an allegation he denies.           

In a statement, the Virginia legislature's Black Caucus acknowledged the seriousness of all three controversies but added: "Our responses to each, however, must be based on their individual facts and circumstances."           

While the Democratic Party has taken almost a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct among its members in this #MeToo era, a housecleaning in Virginia could be costly: If all three Democrats resigned, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox would become governor.           

The Black Caucus and Democratic congressional delegation reiterated their calls for the governor to step down, and the state House Democrats - who also previously called for Northam's resignation - said they remain disappointed in him.           

As for Herring, the Black Caucus and congressional delegation cited his efforts to personally apologize to individual lawmakers in explaining why they were responding differently to his blackface admission.           

"The attorney general has earnestly reached out to each of us to apologize and express his deep remorse," said a statement by Virginia's two U.S. senators and seven Democratic members of Congress.           

As for Fairfax, the black lawmakers said the sexual assault allegation against him must be "thoroughly investigated by the appropriate agencies." The House Democrats said they would "continue to monitor" the accusation, while the congressional delegation said it respects "the right of women to come forward and be heard."           

If Fairfax ascends to the top office, he would be Virginia's second black governor.           

The district attorney's office in Boston declined to say whether it is investigating. A California college professor has said Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him at a hotel in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Fairfax has cast the allegations as a political smear.           

On Thursday, President Donald Trump accused the Democrats of a double standard, tweeting: "If the three failing pols were Republicans, far stronger action would be taken."           

Northam, 59, has been under fire for a week over a photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook that showed someone in blackface and another person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.           

He at first admitted he was in the picture, then denied it a day later, but acknowledged he once blackened his face with shoe polish to imitate Michael Jackson for a dance contest in 1984.           

His critics have faulted him for both his handling of the picture and his blackface admission.           

Virginia Democrats fear the crises could jeopardize their chances of taking control of the GOP-dominated legislature this year after big gains in 2017.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Virginia Voter Registration Deadline Quickly Approaching

    Virginia Voter Registration Deadline Quickly Approaching

    Monday, October 14 2019 7:04 AM EDT2019-10-14 11:04:16 GMT
    Monday, October 14 2019 7:36 AM EDT2019-10-14 11:36:18 GMT
    (Photo: WBOC)(Photo: WBOC)
    (Photo: WBOC)(Photo: WBOC)
    Virginians who want to vote in the upcoming legislative elections have one more day to register.More
    Virginians who want to vote in the upcoming legislative elections have one more day to register.More
  • Virginia Capital to Recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day

    Virginia Capital to Recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day

    Monday, October 14 2019 7:05 AM EDT2019-10-14 11:05:24 GMT
    Monday, October 14 2019 7:35 AM EDT2019-10-14 11:35:41 GMT
    Virginia's capital city will recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day on Monday, joining a shift away from a day traditionally reserved for honoring Christopher Columbus.More
    Virginia's capital city will recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day on Monday, joining a shift away from a day traditionally reserved for honoring Christopher Columbus.More
  • Hogan 'Very Troubled' by Impeachment Inquiry into Trump

    Hogan 'Very Troubled' by Impeachment Inquiry into Trump

    Friday, October 11 2019 7:18 AM EDT2019-10-11 11:18:25 GMT
    Friday, October 11 2019 8:58 AM EDT2019-10-11 12:58:20 GMT
    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Photo: AP)Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Photo: AP)
    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Photo: AP)Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Photo: AP)
    Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he is "very troubled" by the controversy that has prompted an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, but he believes more facts need to be gathered.More
    Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he is "very troubled" by the controversy that has prompted an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, but he believes more facts need to be gathered.More
  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Salisbury Zoo's 25-year-old Female Spider Monkey Passes Away

    Salisbury Zoo's 25-year-old Female Spider Monkey Passes Away

    Monday, October 14 2019 9:41 AM EDT2019-10-14 13:41:29 GMT
    Monday, October 14 2019 10:00 AM EDT2019-10-14 14:00:34 GMT
    The Salisbury Zoo provided this photo of its spider monkey, Amy, which passed away at the age of 25.The Salisbury Zoo provided this photo of its spider monkey, Amy, which passed away at the age of 25.
    The Salisbury Zoo provided this photo of its spider monkey, Amy, which passed away at the age of 25.The Salisbury Zoo provided this photo of its spider monkey, Amy, which passed away at the age of 25.
    The Salisbury Zoo announced Monday the death of its female black-handed spider monkey, “Amy." The 25-year old monkey had been under medical care for advanced stages of cancer and passed away during surgery, officials said.More
    The Salisbury Zoo announced Monday the death of its female black-handed spider monkey, “Amy." The 25-year old monkey had been under medical care for advanced stages of cancer and passed away during surgery, officials said.More
  • Georgetown Woman Arrested for Parking Lot Assault

    Georgetown Woman Arrested for Parking Lot Assault

    Monday, October 14 2019 10:07 AM EDT2019-10-14 14:07:58 GMT
    Monday, October 14 2019 10:07 AM EDT2019-10-14 14:07:58 GMT
    Brianna DoddsBrianna Dodds
    Brianna DoddsBrianna Dodds
    A 22-year-old woman is behind bars following accusations that she assaulted an elderly woman in the parking lot of the Georgetown Plaza in Georgetown, Del.More
    A 22-year-old woman is behind bars following accusations that she assaulted an elderly woman in the parking lot of the Georgetown Plaza in Georgetown, Del.More
  • Updated: Census Bureau Seeks State Data, Including Citizenship Info

    Updated: Census Bureau Seeks State Data, Including Citizenship Info

    Monday, October 14 2019 9:18 AM EDT2019-10-14 13:18:32 GMT
    Monday, October 14 2019 10:00 AM EDT2019-10-14 14:00:15 GMT
    (Photo: AP)(Photo: AP)
    (Photo: AP)(Photo: AP)
    The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and has made a new request for information on recipients of government assistance, alarming some civil rights advocates.More
    The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and has made a new request for information on recipients of government assistance, alarming some civil rights advocates.           More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Windsurfer Spends Night Stranded on Dewey Beach

    Windsurfer Spends Night Stranded on Dewey Beach

    Sunday, October 13 2019 6:09 PM EDT2019-10-13 22:09:23 GMT
    Monday, October 14 2019 7:35 AM EDT2019-10-14 11:35:25 GMT
    A windsurfer spent a night stranded on Dewey Beach after his sail broke and could not get help.More
    A windsurfer spent a night stranded on Dewey Beach after his sail broke and could not get help.More
  • 3 Men Killed in Bridgeville Crash

    3 Men Killed in Bridgeville Crash

    Sunday, October 13 2019 9:09 AM EDT2019-10-13 13:09:02 GMT
    Monday, October 14 2019 7:32 AM EDT2019-10-14 11:32:29 GMT
    The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is investigating an early Sunday morning single-vehicle crash in Bridgeville that left three men dead.More
    The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is investigating an early Sunday morning single-vehicle crash in Bridgeville that left three men dead.More
  • H20i is a No Show at Endless Summer Cruisin'

    H20i is a No Show at Endless Summer Cruisin'

    Saturday, October 12 2019 11:30 PM EDT2019-10-13 03:30:24 GMT
    Saturday, October 12 2019 11:36 PM EDT2019-10-13 03:36:02 GMT
    It was a seemingly calm weekend at the Endless Summer Cruisin' car event in Ocean City. Rumors of people returning from the unsanctioned H20i event created a buzz in the area.More
    It was a seemingly calm weekend at the Endless Summer Cruisin' car event in Ocean City. Rumors of people returning from the unsanctioned H20i event created a buzz in the area. More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices