Gov. Kate Brown: Virginia's Embattled Governor, Ralph Northam, Should Step Down

Attorney General Mark Herring speaks at a Virginia Democratic Party annual fundraiser in 2015

Attorney General Mark Herring speaks at a Virginia Democratic Party annual fundraiser in 2015

Everyone in Richmond, it seemed, was waiting Thursday for Virginia's legislative black caucus to respond.

"We've got a lot to digest", the group's chairman, Democratic delegate Lamont Bagby, said Wednesday. Lamont Bagby, said Wednesday.

The calls from Democrats for Northam to resign were nearly universal, from the Virginia Democratic Party to former Democratic governors of the state, to the commonwealth's two current USA senators, to organizations that long supported him, like the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The college professor who accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of a 2004 sexual assault has come forward - publicly identifying herself in a statement and describing the alleged attack in graphic detail.

Rep. Bobby Scott has known about the sex assault allegation against Virginia's lieutenant governor for a year - and used to date the accuser, according to new reports. "I am a proud Democrat".

"And the ones who are there already need to truly take a firm stance on protecting and supporting marginalized communities who need them", she said.

Fairfax has repeatedly denied Tyson's allegation, saying they only had a "consensual encounter".

He said that in the days ahead, "honest conversations and discussions will make it clear whether I can or should continue to serve as Attorney-General". But Tyson denies politics has anything to do with it, saying she is a Democrat, like Fairfax.

He said that it was no longer possible for Mr Northam to lead the state.

As Virginians were trying to process their shock surrounding Governor Northams actions, they were met with two more controversies within the state government.

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Yet another possibility is that Northam resigns (though he's shown no sign he's inclined to do so, even pledging to hire a private investigator to probe the racist photo), Fairfax ascends, appoints a new lieutenant governor and then resigns himself. "We think the process is moving too rapidly", McShane said. In that photo, one man appeared in blackface while another was in a KKK outfit.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat who is close to Northam but has called for his resignation, acknowledged the frustrations of other members of his party.

President Donald Trump suggested the turmoil could improve his party's chances in the state.

Women and racial minorities are two of the party's most reliable voting blocs, and national Democrats have made racial justice and sexual equality key pillars of their agenda, taking a tough line against sexual misconduct or racial insensitivity to try to avoid being accused of hypocrisy in criticizing Trump and Republicans.

If all three step aside, the next in line to be governor is the Republican House speaker.

A photo gallery from Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook includes a picture of one man in black face, and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood.

How did that photo wind up on his page if he didn't furnish it to the yearbook editors?

Northam, whose term runs through 2022, initially said he was in the photograph, but backtracked a day later.

Although Herring says he takes responsibility for his actions, he also stated his "conduct is in no way reflective of the man I have become in the almost 40 years since". What do the governor's now-you-see-it-now-you-don't statements say about his judgment?

"After the assault, I suffered from both deep humiliation and shame", Tyson writes.

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