48ºF

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax announces bid for Virginia governor

He is running despite sexual assault allegations in 2019

FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 file photo, Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax speaks during the 9th Annual wreath laying and  ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, in Washington. District Judge Anthony Trenga in Alexandria has tossed out a libel lawsuit filed by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax against CBS, who he accused of slanted reporting on sexual assault allegations levied against him. U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga in Alexandria dismissed the case against CBS on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 file photo, Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax speaks during the 9th Annual wreath laying and ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, in Washington. District Judge Anthony Trenga in Alexandria has tossed out a libel lawsuit filed by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax against CBS, who he accused of slanted reporting on sexual assault allegations levied against him. U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga in Alexandria dismissed the case against CBS on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is launching a run for governor despite facing two high-profile allegations of sexual assault he has strenuously denied.

Fairfax is set to hold campaign kickoff events this weekend, joining a crowded field of Democratic hopefuls looking for their party’s nomination to run for governor in 2021.

The lieutenant governor position is a traditional launchpad for gubernatorial bids, and Fairfax would normally be considered a strong candidate.

But unsettled allegations of sexual assault, made by two women last year when Virginia politics was at the center of the nation’s attention, will complicate his ability to raise money and build support.