Justin Fairfax ’96 becomes the Virginia lieutenant governor and is striving to make big changes


Justin Fairfax was elected 41st lieutenant governor of Virginia on November 7, 2017.

John Freeman, Writer



Earlier this month, DeMatha alumnus Justin Fairfax ‘96 was sworn in as Virginia’s 41st lieutenant governor. Fairfax defeated Republican nominee Jill Vogel in the general election which was held on Nov. 7, 2017. Since the start of his political career, Fairfax has worked in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government. He has strived to develop a greater initiative for helping resolve the challenges that Virginians face on a day-to-day basis.  

Fairfax has always been an influential and selfless person according to his siblings. From a young age, he always felt obligated to dedicate himself to public and community service. Fairfax was also always an advocate for equal opportunity. He believed that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to pursue their own American dream, just as he did. Fairfax is an attorney graduate from Columbia Law School, and also graduated as an undergrad from Duke University in 2000 with a degree in public policy. His social, academic and political achievements have allowed him to accomplish goals he believed were once unobtainable due to his rough upbringings.

DeMatha veteran teacher, Douglas Tschiffely, once told his students that, “Justin Fairfax was a remarkable student, a class president, and a joy to have in the classroom daily.”

The Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election was by far one of the most highly anticipated elections in 2017. The race to become Virginia’s lieutenant governor began after the primary election back in June.

After winning the primary with a majority of the population’s vote, he was asked by reporters how he felt starting his campaign. He said, “Confident and ready, we’re looking to focus on the issues that go to the heart, like whether or not someone can achieve the American dream.”

Unlike other states, candidates for lieutenant governor in Virginia run separately, which makes it tougher on the candidates to run their campaign. In this year’s general election, more than 2.5 million people voted for Virginia’s lieutenant governor, and more than half were in support of Fairfax and the democratic party.

In a separate interview with Dr. Jason Johnson, in reference to the race for Virginia’s lieutenant governor, Fairfax said, “We’re the first major election since Donald Trump’s inauguration. In 2017, Virginia is going to be the place that sparks a progressive wildfire that spreads across the country. I want everyone to be a part of it.”

The former law clerk, made his intentions and motivations clear to Johnson, by also stressing the issue of getting other people involved. Fairfax made history in this year’s election by becoming the second African-American ever elected to a Virginia statewide office. He has not only made history, but has also vowed to change the lives of many residents and families in the state of Virginia. Fairfax has and always will believe that we can make progression in every way imaginable, as long as we keep our eyes on the future.