Former Democratic Virginia Gov. Lawrence Douglas Wilder criticized Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe Tuesday for allegedly supporting several state officials who were involved in blackface scandals and a sexual assault allegation.
Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring wore blackface in their high school yearbooks, leading the governor to publicly apologize in a 2019 statement. The same year, two women accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of alleged sexual assault, to which the lieutenant governor repeatedly denied, USA Today reported. (RELATED: Northam Says Blackface, KKK Photo Helped Him Understand Black Oppression)
Wilder claimed that McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, changed his stance on his push for Northam and Herring to resign from their positions over the photographs, in a Facebook post Tuesday. McAuliffe currently supports Herring and is seeking Northam’s support during his current run for governor, Wilder said.
“Two years ago, Terry McAuliffe called for all three persons occupying the offices of Governor, Lt. Governor, and Atty. General to resign,” Wilder’s post stated. “Today, McAuliffe is asking people to vote for that A.G. who served as his attorney general, and seeks the continuing support of Northam.”
McAuliffe was one of several Democrats calling for Northam to resign in November 2019 following the blackface scandal, saying that resignation was “morally the right thing to do,” Politico reported. He also urged Fairfax to step down over the “serious and credible” sexual assault allegations in a 2019 tweet.
“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,” the tweet said.
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.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) February 8, 2019
Wilder also alleged that McAuliffe violated the state’s “long standing precedent” to launch a gubernatorial bid, even though he didn’t violate state law, and barred the chances of more qualified candidates — all of whom were allegedly minorities — to hold the position.
“All of the candidates he opposed except one, were Black, including two women, whom he felt not qualified to be given the chance that he had been given,” the post alleged.