HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Less than two months out from the November election, some are already looking ahead to next year. Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax officially launched his campaign for governor on Sunday at Fort Monroe in Hampton.

Fairfax made the announcement for his run for office in front of his family and constituents on what he said is sacred ground.

“Of course (we) wanted to come here, Fort Monroe, the site of some incredible history 401 years ago. The first enslaved Africans were forced to land right here, so we are both honoring that incredible journey and talking about hope in the first year of the next 400 years,” he said.

Fairfax said in his speech, as he announced his candidacy, that right before he was inaugurated as Lt. Governor he found out his ancestors were slaves and were freed in this state. He says it is a full circle for him to make this announcement.

He says his campaign will continue to make strides with injustices, education and health, all while bridging the racial divide.

“Incredible progress breaking the ties to expand Medicaid for 450,000 more Virginians, fighting for more economic opportunity, investments in education, paying our teachers, and so I want to continue that work as governor. And we just felt so much support, enthusiasm for our work. It’s been really historic in landmark the progress we’ve been able to make here in Virginia and I believe as governor I will be able to do even more to lift up all 8 and a half million Virginians.”

Fairfax said there has been silence from Governor Northam, but they are in close communication.

WAVY asked why he believes he is the man for the job.

“We need strong, courageous leadership, people who are willing to stand up even when others will not,” he said. “They elected me to stand up and have courage in the face of adversity and to focus on them and their families, and that’s what we’ve done.”

Despite previous and ongoing controversy from his office on sexual abuse allegations, he is hopeful this will be the right move for the commonwealth.

“Virginians want to be taken to higher ground, they don’t want to be stuck in this mode of the politics of personal destruction. As the stories have fallen a part people have lost interest in it because they weren’t truth to begin with,” he said.

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