RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax will not attend the Blue Commonwealth Gala, the largest fundraising event of the year for the Democratic Party of Virginia, Saturday after Fairfax’s own party denied the lieutenant governor’s PAC from giving a donation for a table in April.
The 2019 Blue Commonwealth Gala will have several prominent guest speakers, including Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), former governor Terry McAuliffe and other Virginia elected officials. Fairfax’s office confirmed the decision to skip the fundraiser with 8News ahead of the event.
“Given the party’s rejection in April, he’s not coming,” Fairfax’s spokesperson, Lauren Burke, told 8News.
Fairfax’s We Rise Together PAC was hoping to reserve a table with a donation in April but was denied. His office said the lieutenant governor was planning to invite a group of African American pastors to the event.
“We appreciate his team reaching out, but at the time his team did we were not comfortable accepting the donation,” Jake Rubenstein, Communications Director for the Democratic Party of Virginia, told 8News a few hours before the fundraiser.
Burke provided 8News a statement from April regarding the DPVA’s decision:
The Lt. Governor’s We Rise Together PAC was planning to have a group of African American pastors and other supporters sit at his table. He is innocent and has passed two polygraphs and repeatedly called for an investigation. DPVA has assumed he is guilty of a violent criminal act with no investigation or even a conversation to ascertain his version of events.
This is beyond comprehension for a state party claiming dedication ‘to the preservation of all the rights enumerated in Article One of the Constitution of Virginia.’ That article, of course, provides for due process of law. If the Lt. Governor can’t receive due process from his own party how can we assume the average Virginian can?Lauren Burke, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax’s spokesperson
The gala will have two presidential candidates, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, as headline speakers. The fundraiser will be held in Richmond’s Main Street Station.