Justin Fairfax, the lieutenant governor of Virginia, could become that state's governor if current governor Ralph Northam resigns under pressure related to a racist photograph in his yearbook.
Northam now says the picture in question is not of him, and therefore he does not plan to resign. But calls for his resignation are still coming from both Democrats and Republicans.
The possibility of his resignation brought many people to the question: "Who is Justin Fairfax?"
His online bio says Fairfax is 39, a married father of two and a former federal prosecutor.
He attended Duke on a scholarship, graduated with a public policy degree in 2000, then earned his juris doctorate from Columbia University.
He worked on Al Gore's presidential campaign, and when Fairfax ran for the lieutenant governor of Virginia in 2017, he got the endorsement of former president Barack Obama.
Now as more high profile critics including elected Democrats in Virginia urge Northam to step down, Fairfax is in the media spotlight.
An online article surfaced over the weekend from the same conservative source that revealed the racist photos published on Northam's college yearbook page. That article implied Fairfax sexually assaulted a woman at the 2004 Democratic national convention.
Fairfax released a statement that says the allegation, first presented to the Washington Post more than a year ago, was investigated by that newspaper. The statement says the Post detected red flags and decided not to publish the story. The investigation happened at the time of Fairfax's inauguration as lieutenant governor of Virginia.
"Tellingly," the statement says, "not one other reputable media outlet has seen fit to air this false claim. Only now, at a time of intense media attention surrounding Virginia politics, has this false claim been raised again. This is part of the sad and dark politics that the Lt. Governor has dedicated himself to helping Virginia and the nation rise above."
If Northam does resign, Fairfax, the second African-American to win a statewide Virginia elected post in the modern era, could become that state's governor.
Justin Fairfax, who could possibly replace Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, graduated from Duke in 2000
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