Northam, Fairfax Skip Basketball Fundraiser for Cancer Research

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By Owen FitzGerald

Capital News Service


RICHMOND — Despite controversies around the Capitol, Virginia legislators and lobbyists met on the basketball court to raise money for cancer research, with two notable absences: Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.

Both had participated in last year’s fundraising event that raised nearly $35,000 for research at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center.

The games took place in the middle of a troubled week for the Democratic leaders:

§  On Friday, a photo surfaced in Northam’s medical school yearbook depicting two individuals, one dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robes and the other in blackface.

§  On Wednesday, Vanessa Tyson, an associate professor of politics at Scripps College in California, publicly accused Fairfax of forcing himself on her in a hotel room during the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

The 11th annual Capitol Square Classicwas held Wednesday evening at the Siegel Center in Richmond — normally home to the VCU men’s and women’s basketball teams. The two games saw the Senate take on the House, and members of the governor’s office were pitted against a team of lobbyists.

Pages from the House and Senate — teenagers who assist legislators during the General Assembly’s session — cheered on their respective teams in front of a crowd of about 200.

This year’s event raised over $32,000 for research.

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