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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (L), Gov. Ralph Northam (C) and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. Photos: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post; Alex Edelman; Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Virginia's three top ranking state officials — all Democrats — have each become embroiled in scandals over the course of the last week.

Catch up quick: Gov. Ralph Northam is facing calls for his resignation after a photo emerged on his 1984 medical school yearbook page featuring one person in blackface and another person in a KKK costume. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is denying allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. And Attorney General Mark Herring admitted Wednesday that he dressed in blackface in 1980, but called it a "onetime occurrence."

Why it matters: If Northam were to step down, Fairfax would be next in line to succeed him, followed by Herring.

The intrigue: Next in the governorship's line of succession would be Kirk Cox, the speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates — a Republican.

  • During the 2018 midterms, the race for the 94th district of the House of Delegates was so close that after a recount and several legal challenges, it had to be determined by a random drawing, NBC News reports.
  • Republican incumbent David Yancey won the drawing, which — in addition to handing him the victory — gave Republicans the extra seat needed to maintain a narrow 51-49 majority.
  • Without the random drawing going in the GOP's favor, it's possible that Cox would not currently be serving as speaker.

The bottom line: As NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald points out, it's unlikely that all three of the state's top Democratic officials would resign at once and hand the governorship to a Republican. But even so, Virginia's Democrats are grappling with a trio of scandals with no apparent conclusion in sight, and it's not out of the question that a random drawing could come back to haunt them.

Go deeper

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
23 mins ago - Economy & Business

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.

Wanted: New media bosses, everywhere

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, HuffPost and Wired are all looking for new editors. Soon, The New York Times will be too.

Why it matters: The new hires will reflect a new generation — one that's addicted to technology, demands accountability and expects diversity to be a priority.