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Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) is not deterred by the sexual assault allegations leveled against him, saying he is still “thinking seriously” about a gubernatorial run in 2021.
The embattled Democrat told reporters at a roundtable discussion on Thursday he was “hopeful” about his political future, especially given how the allegations have raised his profile across the commonwealth.
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“Many people a year ago would not have recognized me, now they really do,” Fairfax said. “People come up to me at gas stations, they say, ‘Hey, we recognize you. We love you. We know what they are saying about you is false.'”
“I’m very hopeful about the future,” he added. “We’ve gotten a lot of encouragement about future political steps. I’m thinking very seriously about 2021.”
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First elected in 2017, Fairfax was widely expected to succeed incumbent Gov. Ralph Northam this year when the latter was embroiled in a blackface scandal. Hope for a smooth succession, however, was dashed when two women came forward to accuse him of sexual assaulting them in the mid-2000s.
Fairfax strongly denied the allegations, even hinting they were part of a smear campaign organized by Northam to save his governorship. In February, Fairfax...
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