Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who battled sexual assault allegations from two women, has announced he will run for governor in 2021.

Fairfax has denied the allegations by the women — Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson — who claim he raped them during separate incidents in the 2000s, characterizing their claims as a “smear campaign” against him.

The Democrat would become the state’s second black governor after L. Douglas Wilder if elected. His accusers are also black.

He told the Associated Press that he thinks voters are ready to move on as the sexual scandal faded from the headlines in the two years since the women first made the allegations.

“The voters are incredibly smart. They see through this kind of destructive, politically motivated kind of politics. And they are ready to move to higher ground,” Fairfax told the wire service last week ahead of his official campaign announcement Saturday.

But Debra Katz, the lawyer for Tyson, called on the General Assembly to hold a public hearing to address the allegations against Fairfax, who was elected lieutenant governor in 2017.

“Apparently Lt. Governor Fairfax believes that the citizens of the Commonwealth have forgotten about the serious and credible allegations of sexual assault made against him by Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson and about his deplorable treatment of them after they came forward,” Katz said in a statement.

With Post Wires