“We can’t just talk theoretically about what generally happens, but we have a real-world example where I was falsely accused in 2019,” mentioned Fairfax, who’s Black. “Everyone here on the stage called for my immediate resignation, including Terry McAuliffe. … He treated me like George Floyd. He treated me like Emmett Till — no due process, immediately assumed my guilt.”
NCS has reached out to McAuliffe for touch upon Fairfax’s assertion.
Fairfax mentioned throughout the reply that the “murder of George Floyd was horrific,” including that it “recalls a history in Virginia and in our nation where African Americans, particularly African American men, are presumed to be guilty, are treated inhumanely, are given no due process.”
Fairfax is certainly one of 5 Democrats vying to be the subsequent governor of Virginia, becoming a member of McAuliffe, former Virginia state Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, Del. Lee Carter and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan onstage.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam can’t run for reelection, as a result of the Virginia Constitution prohibits governors from serving two successive phrases.
Fairfax has repeatedly denied the allegations and known as for investigations into the accusations, saying he was “confident” that it could clear his title.
All the Democrats onstage Tuesday, in a roundabout way, had known as on Fairfax to resign over the allegations in 2019. McClellan was a frontrunner within the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus when the group known as on Fairfax to resign however didn’t personally put out a press release. But it’s the truth that McAuliffe known as on Fairfax to resign so rapidly that has lengthy bothered the lieutenant governor.
McClellan was the primary candidate to reply to Fairfax on Tuesday, saying, “The murders of Emmett Till and George Floyd were traumatic and triggering for generations of Black people. The Lt. Gov’s comparison was shocking, unseemly, and insensitive.”
Fairfax spokeswoman Lauren Burke responded to criticism of his feedback, saying: “There’s no one addressing these allegations were never investigated as his opponents keep bringing up justice reform and the overall treatment of Black men.”
Fairfax’s touch upon Tuesday got here on the finish of an in any other case tame debate that targeted totally on battling the coronavirus, curbing gun violence and revamping legal justice.
McAuliffe, 4 years faraway from his time as governor, is making an attempt to do one thing that few different Virginians have performed: Serve two phrases as governor.
The three different Democrats onstage as well as to Fairfax — Carter, Foy and McClellan — additionally appeared to critique McAuliffe in numerous methods, however the bulk of the controversy was way more targeted on what every candidate would do in workplace.
McClellan’s most direct assault on McAuliffe got here when she mentioned the previous governor “could have gone farther” on weapons throughout his 4 years in workplace.
Speaking about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected households in Virginia, Foy talked about her household’s pupil mortgage debt and the price of little one care, including, “We need a governor that understands the challenges that Virginia families face. I don’t have to empathize, because I understand.”
McAuliffe, a lot like his marketing campaign to date, largely targeted on his personal plans.
When Foy attacked him on weapons, the previous governor mentioned the invoice that was handed was bipartisan and famous that McClellan, who was standing subsequent to him, had helped to go it.
McAuliffe repeatedly tried to place himself because the individual with probably the most expertise for the job, particularly amid a disaster like the coronavirus.
The former governor pledged to give attention to the pandemic — “I want to first thank Gov. Ralph Northam,” he mentioned in his first reply of the controversy — and mentioned the commonwealth will quickly have sufficient vaccine doses for everybody — together with himself.
“I still don’t have it; I’m too young,” the 64-year-old former governor mentioned with a smile. “I don’t fit the category yet, so I’m still waiting to get my vaccine. But as soon as we move it up, I will get it.”