Northam, Fairfax skip basketball fundraiser for cancer research

The Senate takes on the House. The pages (teenagers who assist legislators) were going crazy...
The Senate takes on the House. The pages (teenagers who assist legislators) were going crazy for this game.(WHSV)
Published: Feb. 7, 2019 at 9:55 AM EST
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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


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

• On Friday, a photo

depicting two individuals, one dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robes and the other in blackface. Northam first admitted to being in the photo and apologized, but then said

that he was not in the photo, although he acknowledged wearing blackface to dress as Michael Jackson for a dance contest.

• On Wednesday, Vanessa Tyson, an associate professor of politics at Scripps College in California,

of forcing himself on her in a hotel room during the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

The 11th annual

was 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.