Virginia could be poised to get its second black governor
A Conservative in Democrat clothing, is what Virginia has as a Governor. Virginia has been run like a conservative state for the last 20 or more years. Though many of its residences are democrat, republicans have been getting their way for years. Maybe it is time for a true Democrat.
Gov. Ralph Northam may be forced from office because of racist pictures on his school yearbook page. Who better to succeed him than Justin Fairfax, an African American descendant of slaves?
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a 39-year-old lawyer whose surname comes from the plantation owner that a Northern Virginia county is name after, could become only the second African American governor in the state’s history if current Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is forced from office.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fairfax’s family moved to Washington, D.C. in 1984, the same year that a racist photo appeared on Northam’s page in the yearbook of the Eastern Virginia Medical College in Norfolk, Virginia, where Northam attended medical school.
Fairfax, who graduated from Columbia Law School in New York City, moved to Fairfax County, Virginia in 2005 when he clerked for U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Along with serving as a federal prosecutor in Alexandria, Virginia, Fairfax has worked in private practice.
Early in his career, Fairfax immersed himself in Democratic politics. He worked as a staffer on former Sen. John Edwards’ (D) presidential campaign in 2004. Ten years later, Fairfax served as co-chair of Sen. Mark Warner’s (D) reelection campaign.
Last September, Fairfax joined the Washington law firm of Morrison & Foerster as a partner in its commercial and white-collar defense groups. Fairfax separately performs his duties as Virginia lieutenant governor, which is a part-time role under Virginia law.
In 1989, Douglas Wilder became the first African American to be elected governor of Virginia, where governors are legally limited to only one term. Fairfax would still be able to run for a full four-year term as governor in 2021, because he would have been appointed — not elected — to the office in the wake of Northam’s resignation.
Aside from Wilder, only one other African American, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, has been elected governor of a U.S. state. Another black governor, David Patterson, was appointed to the office after the resignation of Eliot Spitzer in a 2008 sex scandal.
When Northam, who was then-lieutenant governor, opted to seek the governorship in 2017, Fairfax entered the race to replace him. He defeated Republican Jill Vogel in the general election, receiving 53 percent of the vote compared to 47 percent for Vogel.