The third person in line for the Virginia governorship has admitted he wore blackface as a college student.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) on Wednesday released a statement admitting that in 1980, when he was an undergraduate in college, he and his friends dressed as rappers and "because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others," they "dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup."
Herring says that he is "sure we have all done things at one time or another in our lives that show poor judgment," and this is a "glaring example" that has "haunted me for decades." But he insists it "was a onetime occurrence" and says he takes "full responsibility" for it.
This revelation means that Virginia's governor and the two people next in line to succeed him are all embroiled in controversies. Last week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) admitted to wearing blackface in a yearbook photo printed on a page dedicated to him; the photo also showed a person wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe. He later backtracked and said he's not in that photo but did wear blackface on a separate occasion when he dressed as Michael Jackson.
Should Northam resign, as many Democrats including Herring have called on him to do, his successor would be Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D), who recently denied an allegation of sexual assault. NBC News reported Wednesday that Fairfax said of his accuser at a private meeting Monday, "f— that b—." Herring is next in line, and fourth in line is Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Kirk Cox. Read Herring's statement below. Brendan Morrow