Virginia's embattled governor, Ralph Northam, capped a week of political chaos ignited by racial scandals by vowing to stay in office on Friday, while the fellow Democrat in line to succeed him faced a second accusation of sexual assault.
The tumult in Virginia began late last week, with the discovery of the photo on Northam's yearbook profile page that showed someone in blackface standing beside another person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.
He said he's held conversations with black politicians who explained to him why blackface is offensive. "I will not resign", he said in a statement, calling for a full investigation and noting he has already passed FBI background checks.
The drama following Virginia's state leadership is spiraling out of control as a second woman comes forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault.
She said both women who have accused Fairfax have given credible stories, as well as Democratic activists helping them as well. "She turned and asked: "Why did you do it?' Mr. Fairfax answered: 'I knew that because of what happened to you past year, you'd be too afraid to say anything.' Mr. Fairfax actually used the prior rape of his 'friend" against her when he chose to rape her in a premeditated way".
In his initial apology, Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said that the photo does not represent who he is now. Tim Kaine said, "The allegations against him detail atrocious crimes". As with Fairfax, there have been emphatic calls for their resignations, including from leading figures in their own party.
Fairfax called the "interactions" he admits he had with both accusers "consensual" as calls continue for his resignation.
Watson's allegations triggered an avalanche of calls by top officials in the Democratic Party, including presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Corey Booker, for their colleague to step down. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Virginia), Sen.
Many Democrats who had carefully withheld judgment after the first accusation against Fairfax, saying the matter needed to be investigated, immediately condemned him. On Friday, she took that statement a step further. Like he is smearing Dr. Vanessa Tyson, Mr. Fairfax is now smearing Ms. Watson. The man said he finds it almost impossible to believe that Tyson would have performed oral sex without being forced.
I say again without reservation: I did not sexually assault or rape Meredith Watson, Vanessa Tyson or anyone else.
Winter Storm Warning for Sierra Starts Friday
Snow was tapering off in western Washington by mid-morning Saturday, but enjoy the quick break before another system moves in. Earlier this week, another storm shut down Seattle and left some neighborhoods with about half a foot of snow.