Second Virginia Democrat Says He Wore Blackface, Throwing Party Into Turmoil

With Virginia’s prime three statewide officers going through mortal political threats within the midst of the legislative session and an election 12 months, some senior legislators instructed it was time to cease demanding resignations.

“I feel like I’m living in an episode of a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel where people are rushing to judgment, and it feels like if I don’t proclaim judgment right away, it somehow reflects on me,” mentioned State Senator J. Chapman Petersen, a Northern Virginia Democrat. “I think we need to slow down.”

Referring to the three officers, Mr. Petersen added, “I want them all to stay put until we learn more.”

Asked who was in control of the state, State Senator Adam P. Ebbin, a Democrat, replied, “The governor of Virginia — for now.”

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Although hypothesis about Mr. Herring’s historical past with blackface had coursed by means of the Capitol this week, it was not till Wednesday morning that he met with the Legislative Black Caucus to tell them. He then issued an announcement that described how, as an undergraduate on the University of Virginia in 1980, he had dressed because the rapper Kurtis Blow.

By Mr. Herring’s account, he and associates “dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup” for a celebration, and that it was a one-time prevalence. The lawyer common, who was elected in 2013 after serving within the General Assembly and in native authorities in Northern Virginia, mentioned that “the shame of that moment has haunted me for decades.”

Black legislators within the Capitol usually noticed Mr. Herring as an ally on essential points. Their Wednesday morning assembly with black lawmakers was “emotional” for everybody current, together with the lawyer common, mentioned State Senator Louise Lucas, a Democrat who attended the gathering. She mentioned that the lawyer common wiped tears from his cheek and that legislators additionally cried.

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