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Tipsheet

Justin Fairfax Considering Running for Governor Because Controversy 'Raised His Public Profile'

AP Photo/Steve Helber

What is it with notorious lawmakers wanting to run for higher office? A day after Roy Moore announced he's giving his Senate aspirations another go in Alabama despite the sexual assault allegations against him, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, fielding a similar scandal, revealed he's "seriously considering" running for governor in 2021.

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Two women have come forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault. Dr. Vanessa Tyson, a professor at Scripps College, claims that Fairfax took advantage of her in a hotel room at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Meredith Watson, who was a student at Duke University with Fairfax, said he raped her in 2000. He has denied all of it.

Most people wouldn't see the silver lining of a situation like this, but according to Fairfax, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

“Many people a year ago would not have recognized me, now they really do,” he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “People come up to me at gas stations, they say, ‘Hey, we recognize you. We love you. We know what they are saying about you is false?'”

Having now raised his public profile, Fairfax is apparently emboldened.

“Going on that trip and even leaving that trip, I was really inspired,” said Fairfax, who traveled to England with a delegation from Fairfax County. “I’m very hopeful about the future. We’ve gotten a lot of encouragement about future political steps. I’m thinking very seriously about 2021.”

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I knew I wouldn't be the only one to make the Moore-Fairfax connection.

Of course, the sitting governor for Virginia, Ralph Northam, is still steeped in a scandal of his own after a racist photo surfaced from his old medical school yearbook. In it, one person is dressed up as a KKK member and another is in blackface. Northam still won't tell us for certain if he was in the photo.

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