Fairfax has denied the allegations, said he does not intend to immediately resign and called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other authorities to investigate.
Meanwhile, after ignoring calls for his own resignation, Northam is declining to weigh in on whether Fairfax or Herring should step down.
The developments came near the end of an astonishing week that saw all three of Virginia's top elected officials-all Democrats-embroiled in potentially career-ending scandals fraught with questions of race, sex, and power. The party counts on the support of black voters and has taken an nearly zero-tolerance approach to sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era.
"If these accusations are determined to be true, I don't think he's going to have any other option but to resign", Northam added.
Embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D.) said he is not resigning because Virginia needs a doctor during a Sunday interview on CBS's "Face the Nation".
In 2017, the Virginia city of Charlottesville hosted an alt-right rally which saw a neo-Nazi ram his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and wounding 28. "That's why I'm not going anywhere".
Political considerations will be key to what comes next.
Delegate Patrick Hope, a Democrat who represents Arlington, said he will introduce articles of impeachment because Mr. Fairfax "can no longer fulfill his duties to the commonwealth". Two women have accused Fairfax, who is African American, of sexually assaulting them years ago. The Associated Press does not generally name victims of alleged sexual assault, but both women have come forward voluntarily. A lawyer for Meredith Watson, 39, said in a statement that Fairfax attacked Watson in 2000.
Fairfax says the encounter was consensual. Instead, he urged authorities to investigate.
"Frankly, we really want any entity with comprehensive investigative power to thoroughly look into these accusations", Fairfax spokeswoman Lauren Burke said. "There needs to be verification of basic facts about these allegations". Exactly. Also, what on earth does being a good pediatric neurologist have to do with being the governor or with having a clue - or in Ralph's case, NOT having a clue - about Virginia's history (and present) of racism???
The Washington Post-Schar School poll, conducted Wednesday through Friday, found Virginia's broader population to be split evenly about Northam's fate, with 47 percent wanting him to stay and the same percentage wanting him to resign. The Senate would then review evidence and hear testimony. "Post-Donald Trump, I think what elected officials are willing to do has changed in some ways". So can he hang on? On Friday, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association removed Fairfax from its leadership ranks, naming officials from DE and Washington state in his place.
Northam's assertion defies the condemnations issued recently by prominent Virginian politicians on both sides of the aisle - many of whom have also called on Fairfax, who is black, to step down for very different reasons. Herring has apologized but has not indicated he would resign. "And that's why I'm not going anywhere", Gov. Northam told CBS' Gayle King. Faifax instead called on "all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI, to investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me". Attorney General Mark Herring said he, too, had donned blackface.
"I can only imagine that it must take tremendous courage for women to step forward and - and talk about these things that are just so hurtful", Northam told CBS.
Twitter, however, wasn't impressed by Northam's progress so far.