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Now four of five top Virginia leaders face racist or sexual allegations

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The ripples of racism allegations continue to roll in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The latest subject in the widening controversy now involves the top Republican in the state’s senate: Tommy Norment.

The Virginian Pilot reported Thursday the man who is fourth in line for the governor’s seat — should everyone ahead of him abdicate office — oversaw a Virginia Military Institute yearbook in 1968 that featured many racist photos and slurs, including the use of blackface.

This comes as the state’s governor, Ralph Northam, and attorney general, Mark Herring — both Democrats — either were accused or admitted to dressing in blackface.

The state’s lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, is also embroiled in his own scandal of being the subject of a sexual assault accusation.

That means four of the top five politicians in the commonwealth’s government are all facing political backlash — three of them purely over racial accusations.

The third in line for the governor’s seat, House Speaker Kirk Cox, won his most-recent election on a coin flip.

No one has announced any plans to resign.

Norment told the Norfolk paper he had no comment on the news.

Northam has been trying to maintain power, holding off calls from three of his predecessors — Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and Terry McAuliffe — to step down.  The governor had initially apologized for the photos, but then backtracked after saying he was not in the photo of a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

Fairfax has vowed to fight the allegations against him, including hiring the law firm that was brought in to defend Brett Kavanaugh during his U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings.  His accuser has enlisted the services of Christine Blasey Ford’s attorneys to push her claim.

Herring admitted and apologized for dressing up in blackface in 1980, stating he plans to move forward and heal from the experience.

Cox has said he would not be pushing for impeachment of the governor.


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