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If all three top Democrats in the line of succession are unable to hold the governor's job, that could result in Democrats losing the Governor's Mansion altogether.

The saga now rocking Virginia is headline news, and people are taking to the streets to protest. Northam first said he may have been one of the two in the photo.

The disclosure further roils the top levels of Virginia government, which has been hit with one crisis after another since the yearbook picture came to light last Friday.

He admitted at first that he was in the photo without saying which costume he was wearing.

Then, under pressure from almost the entire state and national Democratic establishment to resign, he denied he was in the photo at all. But he did admit wearing dark shoe polish on his face to imitate pop singer Michael Jackson while he was in the Army in 1984.

Of course, at this writing Northam is still governor, having refused to resign despite mounting calls for him to do so from his own party.

But things did get worse for the state, when the man in line to succeed Northam was accused of sexual assault, and the man third-in-line to succeed him admitted that he, too, had worn blackface as a teenager.

But then rumours began circulating of another controversial photo, and this time it was Herring who was said to been in "blackface". He said that the accuser offered "a very compelling and detailed statement of a serious, serious charge", while Fairfax has given "a very unequivocal denial". According to the statement, Herring claimed that when he was a 19-year-old college student, his friends "suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song".

"I don't think Trump has changed the game", said Democratic strategist Dane Strother, who frequently works on campaigns in the South, noting Democratic Senator Al Franken's 2017 resignation after allegations of unwanted sexual advances were made against him.

"This conduct is in no way reflective of the man I have become in the almost 40 years since", he said.

Next came news that a woman had publicly accused lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago.

In a statement Thursday night, Virginia's Legislative Black Caucus reiterated its call for Northam to resign, but stopped short of calling for Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax or Attorney General Mark Herring to step down.

"Democrats have not learned the wrong lessons from Trump, and I'm glad about that".

In a statement earlier, Tyson said after the incident she was "unsure of what to do, I felt it was crucial to tell close friends of mine in Virginia" about the assault, but it is not clear who those friends were.

"My only motive in speaking now is to refute Mr. Fairfax's falsehoods and aspersions of my character, and to provide what I believe is important information for Virginians to have as they make critical decisions that involve Mr. Fairfax", Tyson said.

Fairfax has denied the accusations, saying that the encounter was consensual and that he is the victim of a strategically timed political smear, but he has also faced calls to resign.

White people don't know what it's like to live in a world where they are treated differently because of the color of their skin, Brown said.

Aaron Bernstein / ReutersJustin Fairfax speaking at an election rally for Ralph Northam in 2017.

If all three men are pressured to resign, the Republican Speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox, would become governor, taking the state leadership away from the Democrats.

If for some reason Cox is unable to serve then the House of Delegates would convene to select a new acting governor, who would nearly certainly also be a Republican.