Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, Mark Herring: Virginia politics in chaos

It took Kirk Cox almost 30 years to rise from a freshman GOP member of the Virginia House of Delegates to the legislative body’s speaker.

He could jump to the governorship in a matter of weeks as the state’s top three officials, Democrats all, stagger under the weight of scandals. Cox stand right behind them in the succession to the top job.

“The last seven days have been tumultuous for our Commonwealth,” Cox said in a statement late Wednesday. “The revelations against and admissions by the leaders of the executive branch are disturbing.”

Revelations that Northam donned blackface for a Michael Jackson dance party more than 30 years ago, along with his jumbled explanation for that and a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page, have prompted an avalanche of calls for his resignation from leading Democrats and Republicans.

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is facing accusations of sexual assault dating back to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He adamantly denies the claims.

Then on Wednesday, Attorney General Mark Herring admitted that he, too, once wore blackface in the 1980s.

The developments have put Virginia’s Democratic leadership under an intense nationwide spotlight – and Cox in position to become governor if the others step aside or are pushed out.

Marvin Kirkland “Kirk” Cox is a married father of four sons. He retired from teaching after 30 years in the classroom, serves as a deacon in his Baptist Church in Colonial Heights, 25 miles south of the state Capitol in Richmond.

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After the Northam controversy broke over the weekend, Cox called for the governor to resign. Late Wednesday, he called for a “full airing of the facts” surrounding the accusations against Fairfax.

And Cox appeared to call for Herring’s resignation, saying that the attorney general “should adhere to the standard he has set for others or he loses credibility.” Herring previously had called for Northam’s resignation.

President Trump weighed in on the Virginia’s political chaos on Thursday, tweeting: “Democrats at the top are killing the Great State of Virginia. If the three failing pols were Republicans, far stronger action would be taken. Virginia will come back HOME Republican) in 2020!”




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