Fairfax faces pressure to resign after second sexual assault accusation
A woman named Meredith Watson came forward Friday to accuse Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of raping her while they were students at Duke University in 2000, just days after Dr. Vanessa Tyson alleged Fairfax sexually assaulted her in 2004. Between the lines, via UVA Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato: "Just think—almost one week ago, Lt Gov Justin Fairfax seemed to be hours away from being sworn in as Virginia Governor, with just about everyone calling for Gov. Northam to resign. Now Northam says he’s staying, and Fairfax may well be on the way out." What they're saying: Fairfax: "I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation. It is demonstrably false. I have never forced myself on anyone ever...It is obvious that a vicious and coordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me. I will not resign." Virginia Democratic Delegate Patrick Hope: “On Monday, I will be introducing articles of impeachment for Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax if he has not resigned before then.” Former Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe: "The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible. It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation." Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.): "The multiple detailed allegations against the Lt. Gov. of Virginia are deeply troubling. They are serious, credible, and corroborated by others. It is no longer appropriate for him to serve. He should resign." Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “With this second serious and credible allegation of sexual assault, Justin Fairfax should resign. This is not a partisan issue.” 2020 Democratic candidate John Delaney: “If I was a Virginian, I’d want some special elections.” Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.): “I believe Dr. Vanessa Tyson. I believe Meredith Watson. And I believe Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax must resign.” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.): "Like so many Virginians, I am deeply pained by these revelations. But my pain pales in comparison to that experienced by these women, and so many countless other women who are victims of rape and sexual assault. Ly. Governor Fairfax must resign." 2020 Democratic candidate Julián Castro: "Last Friday I called on Gov. Northam to resign immediately. Two days ago I stated that I believe the claim regarding Lt. Governor Fairfax. Tonight, I call on both of them to step aside and allow the great state of Virginia to heal and move forward." Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): "This new allegation from Meredith Watson that Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax raped her, corroborated by at least two named individuals in interviews and emails, is sickening and horrendous. I believe Meredith Watson and Dr. Tyson, and it was extremely brave for them to come forward. Mr. Fairfax should resign and no longer serve the Commonwealth of Virginia."