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Fairfax removed from leadership post in lieutenant governors group
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) was removed from his post as chairman of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association (DLGA) on Friday after two women came forward this week to accuse him of sexual assault.
Lt. Govs. Bethany Hall-Long (Del.) and Cyrus Habib (Wash.) will take his place as interim co-chairs of the DLGA, the group announced Saturday.
"Lt. Governors Hall-Long and Habib have been leaders of this organization and are fully committed to making a meaningful difference in the future and direction of our country," DLGA Executive Director Roshan Patel said in a statement.
Fairfax spearheaded the group's launch last year, becoming its first chairman. The DLGA provides resources and policy assistance to Democrats in their campaigns for lieutenant governor.
The announcement of the group's leadership change came hours after a second woman, Meredith Watson, came forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault. Watson came forward Friday through her lawyer, accusing Fairfax of raping her in 2000 when they were both students at Duke University.
Earlier this week, Vanessa Tyson became the first woman to accuse Fairfax of misconduct, alleging that he sexually assaulted her in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Fairfax issued a statement Friday vehemently denying the allegations and vowing not to resign.
The Virginia Democratic Party and a raft of Democratic lawmakers called on Fairfax to resign following the allegations.
"All survivors of sexual violence and harassment deserve to be supported and heard, and our commitment to that principle is more important than any political consideration," Democratic Reps. Don Beyer, Abigail Spanberger, Elaine Luria, Jennifer Wexton and Gerry Connolly said in a statement calling for his ouster.