Dem delegate backs down on Justin Fairfax impeachment push

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"It is especially important in the most hard of times that we pay attention to our fundamental Constitutional values", the statement continues. Everyone deserves to be heard.

"I understand that he wants - that he's feeling contrition, that he's feeling regret".

Fairfax sounded upbeat and relaxed during the interview.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said in an interview Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he "wasn't going anywhere" and urged reconciliation.

He spent the weekend in Northern Virginia with his family. Their pastor recognized the couple was in attendance during the service, but made no explicit reference to the scandal, Fairfax said. "And I really think this week raised a level of awareness in the Commonwealth and in this country that we haven't seen, certainly in my lifetime".

He said the conversations are needed to explore options open to the General Assembly and to "build more consensus on a path forward".

Fairfax has previously suggested that he was the victim of a smear campaign.

"The Lt. Governor is confident in the truth that will emerge from an independent impartial investigation", the statement reads. Both Watson and Tyson have retained attorneys. He said he's "still learning and committed to getting it right".

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Herring, 57, came forward after rumours about the existence of a blackface photo of him began circulating at the Capitol. Cox and state Republicans have called on Northam to resign . "There's just too much flying around".

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His first accuser, Vanessa Tyson, came forward last week with allegations that he forced her to perform oral sex on him in his hotel room at the Democratic Party convention in Boston in 2004. Neither reported the alleged assaults to law enforcement. An attorney for Watson says her client also is willing to testify in front of the state legislature if an impeachment hearing takes place.

The Virginia Democrat spoke with CBS News about a racism scandal that's engulfing his nascent administration, and said he had learned much about white privilege and race since the scandal erupted.

Northam told the Washington Post he's asked his cabinet secretaries to come up with specific proposals to begin addressing issues of inequality, such as expanding access to health care, housing and transportation, and to begin reporting those suggestions on Monday.

While denying the allegations, Fairfax called on authorities, including the FBI, to conduct a full investigation.

Democratic Party leaders have demanded that Fairfax resign, and one state lawmaker has said he'll start impeachment proceedings if that doesn't happen.

Most of Virginia's Democratic Congressional delegation and prominent national Democrats, including 2020 presidential candidates, called for the governor to resign after the racist photograph surfaced.

A copy of the resolution, obtained by CNN, reads, "the House of Delegates believes all allegations of sexual assault must be taken with the utmost seriousness", and describes the allegations made by the two women as "credible in nature". Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring have also faced criticism after admitting to having worn blackface in the 1980s.

Until a week ago, Fairfax was a fast-rising star in the Democratic Party and is only the second African-American to ever hold statewide office. All 140 legislative seats will be up for grabs in November and Democrats had previously been hopeful that voter antipathy toward President Donald Trump would help them cement Virginia's status as a blue state.

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