Justin Fairfax Mulls Gubernatorial Run, Suggests Sexual Assault Allegations Helped His Standing With Voters

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion | 6/22/2019 | Stacey Matthews
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Sometimes there are incredible stories that come out, that when you see them you think, “Did that person really say that?”

Such was the case for me Friday when I read the news that embattled Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) told reporters he was seriously considering a 2021 gubernatorial run—because the two sexual assault allegations leveled against him earlier this year had raised his profile.

Women - Voters

Surely he didn’t really suggest that being accused of forcing himself on two women had helped his standing with voters?

As it turns out, that’s exactly what he did, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported yesterday:

Lt - Gov - Justin - Fairfax - Thursday

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax said Thursday that he is “very hopeful about the future” and “thinking very seriously” about a gubernatorial run in 2021.

Fairfax, who faces sexual assault allegations by two women, said the scandal has raised his public profile for good.

People - Year - Fairfax - People - Gas

“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.’ ”

Fairfax’s comments came during a roundtable with reporters to talk about his recent trip to England, where he traced familial ties with an English family that freed his great-great-great grandfather from slavery in Northern Virginia.

February - Scripps - College - Associate - Professor

In early February, Scripps College associate professor Vanessa Tyson accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex on him during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Tyson said in a statement that “what began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault.” Fairfax countered Tyson’s account, saying what happened was consensual.

Just days later, Meredith Watson came forward and alleged Fairfax raped her in 2000 when they both were students at Duke University. Fairfax, in turn, claimed that encounter, too, was consensual.

Allegations

The allegations against...
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