President Trump on Wednesday predicted that Virginia, which he lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016, will flip Republican in 2020 after a series of controversies and scandals have consumed the Democrats who occupy the state’s top-three posts.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2019
Governor Ralph Northam has found himself fending off widespread calls for his resignation after a photo showing one individual wearing blackface and one in a Ku Klux Klan hood was discovered on his 1984 medical-school-yearbook page. The governor at first apologized for appearing in the photo but later denied he was one of the costumed individuals pictured, and has so far refused to step down.
Shortly after Northam’s yearbook photo surfaced, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, who would take over the governorship if Northam stepped down, was accused of sexual assault by Vanessa Tyson, a woman who said he forced her to give him oral sex at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Fairfax denies the allegation.
Then, on Wednesday, Virginia attorney general Mark Herring, the third in line to the governorship, admitted to wearing blackface as part of a costume at a college party in the 1980s, just days after he’d called on Northam to resign.
“This was a one-time occurrence, and I accept full responsibility for my conduct,” Herring said in a statement.
The fourth in line to the state’s top office, Republican speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox, issued a statement Wednesday calling the events “disturbing.”
“The last seven days have been tumultuous for our Commonwealth,” Cox wrote in the statement. “The revelations against and admissions by the leaders of the executive branch are disturbing.”
Cox also appeared to call on Herring to resign, saying he “should adhere to the standard he has set for others or he loses credibility.”