Top Three Virginia Democrats Lose Donations amid Scandals

Mark Herring, Ralph Northam, and Justin Fairfax collage
Alex Wong, Alex Edelman/Getty, Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty

Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, and Attorney General Mark Herring are going broke as their campaigns fall to respective scandals.

During the last three months, every one of Virginia’s most prominent Democrats have seen funding for their political action committees (PACs) evaporate. All three continue to resist public calls for their resignations. And none of them is even for the same scandal.

Governor Ralph “Coonman” Northam now infamously apologized for appearing in a college yearbook wearing either blackface or Ku Klux Klan attire — and then denied it afterward. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has admitted that he, too, appeared in blackface at a party in the 1980s.

And then we have Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who has now been twice accused of sexual assault. Though he categorically denies any wrongdoing, his campaign is hemorrhaging staff, and his law firm has put him on leave.

Northam’s PAC has taken in only two donations more than $100 since January, and Fairfax has failed to break three-digit donations at all. Herring has raised less than $20,000 in the same window.

The Virginia Democrat establishment is putting on a brave face, citing the fundraising accomplished by the Democratic Party of Virginia, the Virginia House Democratic Caucus, and the state Senate Democratic Caucus in opposition to their Republican rivals.

“We will have the resources we need to finish the work we started in 2017 and flip the General Assembly blue,” said Virginia Democratic Party spokesman Jake Rubenstein. “Just look at our first-quarter fundraising dominance of the Republicans. Full speed ahead.”

There is some irony in that Fairfax and Herring were seen as the two most likely to replace Northam in the election. But in this deluge of alleged racism and sexual misconduct, voters may have a difficult time finding them any more trustworthy than their disgraced governor.

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