Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring stepped down as the co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) on Wednesday after he released a statement admitting he wore blackface as a college student. “Herring offered to step aside as co-chair and the committee accepted,” reads a statement from DAGA. “[District of Columbia] AG Racine will step back in as co-chair for an interim period.” Herring admitted to painting his face black as part of dressing up as rapper Kurtis Blow at a college party in 1980. In his statement, the attorney general apologized for his actions, and specifically addressed their impact on his constituents of color. “Where they have deserved to feel heard, respected, understood, and honestly represented, I fear my actions have contributed to them being forced to revisit and feel a historical pain that has never been allowed to become history,” Herring wrote.
Herring’s revelation comes after it emerged that the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, had a photo featuring a person in blackface and another in a KKK costume on his medical school yearbook page. The state’s lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, was also accused of sexual assault this week, an allegation he’s denied.