Democrat Fairfax announces bid for Virginia governor

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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. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — 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 launch pad 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.

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