NAACP head says will of Virginia voters has been 'supplanted' amid controversies

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson on Thursday told Hill.TV that the will of voters in Virginia has been undermined by the numerous scandals facing the commonwealth's top three elected officials. 

"The will of the Virginia voters [is] now being supplanted because of past actions and controversies," Johnson told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton in an appearance on "Rising." 

"It truly creates a scenario where individuals who turn out to vote their values and their political interests are now going to be deprived of that opportunity if all three of these individuals step down," he continued. 

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) are grappling with the fallout over admissions of wearing blackface in the past, while Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) has been accused of sexual misconduct, allegations which emerged after Northam refused to resign in the wake of his scandal. 

If Northam, Fairfax, and Herring were to resign, the governorship would go to the Speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox, who is a Republican.

Cox has defended congressional maps that a federal court has ruled as a racial gerrymander. 

"It is troubling, but unfortunately, this is where we are," Johnson said. 

"The problem that we have is the problem that we had. Race is a predominant problem in this nation. We need to address the question of race so that we can move on as one nation, and stop identifying ourselves as a divided nation," he continued.

"Whether we do it in explicit terms, or in our policy work, we at some point need to get past the issue of race, and that's where we find ourselves right now."

— Julia Manchester