South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Saturday repeated his call for Virginia's Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to resign.
A day after Buttigieg attended a fundraiser at the Alexandria, Va. home of Northam's deputy counsel, Jessica Killeen, he echoed his previous call for Northam to resign after it was revealed that his medical school yearbook featured a pair of people in blackface and Ku Klux Klan garb respectively. Buttigieg made the comments at the Black Economic Alliance Presidential Forum in Charleston, S.C.
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CNN reporter Dan Merica mentioned how Buttigieg was headed to Richmond, Va. later Saturday night for the Blue Commonwealth Gala dinner and then asked him whether he still believed Northam and Fairfax needed to go.
"Who needs to step down?" Merica asked.
"My views on that haven't changed since the last time I spoke out about that," Buttigieg said.
Buttigieg was one of the first 2020 presidential candidates to call for Northam to resign. He would later call for Fairfax to resign after two women came forward to accuse him of sexual assault—once in 2000 at Duke University and another time in a hotel room during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. He called the allegations "extremely disturbing."
Merica pressed later to clarify whether Fairfax was included in his call for resignation, prompting Buttigieg to say, "Yeah, I have nothing to add further from last time we talked about that."
Northam and Fairfax were both absent from the Blue Commonwealth Gala on Saturday night, according to NBC reporter Gary Grumbach.
I'm told Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is also not present here at the @vademocrats "Blue Commonwealth Gala" this evening, billed as the premier gathering of elected officials, candidates, community activists and Democratic Party leaders in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
— Gary Grumbach (@GaryGrumbach) June 16, 2019
Fairfax was ready to donate $2,500 from his political action committee to the Democratic Party of Virginia back in April for a table at the event, but the state party would not accept the donation, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
"The Lt. Governor's We Rise Together PAC was planning to have a group of African-American pastors and other supporters sit at his table. He is innocent and has passed two polygraphs and repeatedly called for an investigation," Fairfax's spokeswoman Lauren Burke said. "DPVA has assumed he is guilty of a violent criminal act with no investigation or even a conversation to ascertain his version of events."
"This is beyond comprehension for a state party claiming dedication ‘to the preservation of all the rights enumerated in Article One of the Constitution of Virginia," Burke said. "That Article, of course, provides for due process of law. If the Lt. Governor can't receive due process from his own party how can we assume the average Virginian can?"