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Lieutenant Governor's Bio

Justin was elected Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia on November 7, 2017. Justin is only the second African-American in history, and the first in nearly 30 years since the tenure of Governor L. Douglas Wilder, to be elected to statewide office in Virginia. His Inauguration took place on January 13, 2018.

Justin has been recognized as one of the top young attorneys in the nation and a rising star in American politics. He is a prominent and highly successful lawyer, political figure, philanthropist, and a proud husband, father, and community leader. In 2013, at the age of 34, Justin was awarded the National Bar Association’s “Nation’s Best Advocates Award,” which recognizes 40 top attorneys nationwide under the age of 40. In 2018, he began work as a Litigation Partner in the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. offices of an international law firm.

He previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia in the Major Crimes and Narcotics Unit of the Alexandria Division. During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, he was appointed to serve as the Deputy Coordinator of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. Prior to his service as a federal prosecutor, he worked as a litigator at WilmerHale, LLP in Washington, D.C., following his service as a federal law clerk to United States District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division.

Justin received a scholarship to attend Columbia Law School where he was selected to be a member of the Columbia Law Review and earned his Juris Doctorate in 2005. He also received a scholarship to attend Duke University where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in Public Policy Studies and was selected as the class graduation speaker for the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy.

Justin went on to serve three-year terms on the Duke University Board of Trustees and the Board of Visitors of the Duke University Terry Sanford School of Public Policy.

Justin’s wife, Dr. Cerina W. Fairfax, DDS is a graduate of the VCU School of Dentistry in Richmond, VA and of Duke University. In 2015, Dr. Fairfax was honored by the VCU School of Dentistry as the Most Outstanding Alumna of the Last Decade. The Fairfaxes live with their two children in Northern Virginia where they own a home and a thriving family dental practice.

Lieutenant Governor's Staff

Erin Madden

Director of Policy and Constituent Services


Aviva Shapiro-Frye

Director of Scheduling and Community Development


Raphaël Debraine

Policy Advisor


History of the Office

The official responsibilities of Virginia's Lieutenant Governor are set forth in Article V of the Constitution of Virginia. According to the Constitution of Virginia, the Lieutenant Governor's official duties are to serve as President of the Senate and preside over the Senate.

The Lieutenant Governor is elected at the same time as the Governor, but in Virginia, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are elected separately, i.e., they do not run as a ticket. Therefore, it is possible to have a Governor and Lieutenant Governor of different political parties.

The Constitution of Virginia also provides that the Lieutenant Governor is first in the line of succession to Governor. Should the Governor be unable to serve due to death, disqualification or resignation, the Lieutenant Governor shall become Governor.

In addition to these Constitutional responsibilities, the Code of Virginia provides that the Lieutenant Governor shall serve as a member of several other state boards, commissions and councils, including the Board of Trustees of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and the Center for Rural Virginia; the Board of Directors of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia Tourism Authority; the Virginia Military Advisory Council, the Commonwealth Preparedness Council and the Council on Virginia's Future.

While the Governor is limited by the Constitution of Virginia to serving only one four year term, there is no limit on the number of terms that can be served by the Lieutenant Governor.

Lieutenant Governors under the Commonwealth, Current-1865
  • Justin E. Fairfax, from Fairfax County 2018-Current
  • Ralph S. Northam, from City of Norfolk (Became Governor in 2018) 2014-2018
  • William T. Bolling, from Hanover County 2006-2014
  • Timothy M. Kaine, from the City of Richmond 2002-2006 (Became Governor in 2006)
  • John Henry Hager, from the City of Richmond 1998-2002
  • Donald Sternoff Beyer, Jr., from Fairfax County 1990-1998
  • Lawrence Douglas Wilder, from the City of Richmond 1986-1990 (Became Governor in 1990)
  • Richard Joseph Davis, from the City of Portsmouth 1982-1986
  • Charles Spittal Robb, from Fairfax County 1978-1982 (Became Governor in 1982)
  • John Nichols Dalton, from the City of Radford 1974-1978
  • Henry Evans Howell, Jr., from the City of Norfolk 1971-1974 (Filled the unexpired term of Julian Sargeant Reynolds)
  • Julian Sargeant Reynolds, from the City of Richmond 1970-1971 (Died in office)
  • Fred Gresham Pollard, from the City of Richmond 1966-1970
  • Mills Edwin Godwin, Jr., from Nansemond County 1962-1966 (Became Governor 1966)
  • Allie Edward Stokes Stephens, from the Isle of Wight County, 1952-1962 (Filled the unexpired term of Lewis Preston Collins, II)
  • Lewis Preston Collins, II, from Smyth County 1946-1952 (Died in office)
  • William Munford Tuck, from South Boston, Halifax County 1942-1946
  • Saxon Winston Holt, from the City of Newport News 1938-1940 (Died in office; unexpired term unfilled)
  • James Hubert Price, from the City of Richmond 1930-1938
  • Junius Edgar West, from the City of Suffolk 1922-1930
  • Benjamin Franklin Buchanan, from Smyth County 1918-1922
  • James Taylor Ellyson, from the City of Richmond 1906-1918
  • Joseph Edward Willard, from Fairfax County 1902-1906
  • Edward Echols, from the City of Staunton 1898-1902
  • Robert Craig Kent, from Wythe County 1894-1898
  • James Hoge Tyler, from Pulaski County 1890-1894 (Became Governor in 1898)
  • John Edward "Parson" Massey, from Albemarle County 1886-1890
  • John Francis Lewis, from Rockingham County 1882-1886
  • James Alexander Walker, from Pulaski County 1878-1882
  • Henry Wirtz Thomas, from Fairfax County 1875-1878
  • Robert Enoch Withers, from Campbell County 1874-1875
  • John Lawrence Marye, Jr., from Spotsylvania County 1870-1874
  • John Francis Lewis, from Rockingham County 1869-1870
  • Leopold Copeland Parker Cowper, from Norfolk County 1865-1869
Lieutenant Governors under the Restored Government, 1865-1861
  • Leopold Copeland Parker Cowper, from Norfolk County 1863-1865
  • Daniel Polsley, from Mason County (now WV) 1861-1863
Lieutenant Governors under the Commonwealth, 1865-1852
  • Daniel Polsley, from Mason County (now WV) 1861-1863
  • Samuel Price, from Greenbrier County (now WV) 1864-1865
  • Robert Latane Montague, from Middlesex County 1860-1864
  • William Lowther Jackson, from Wood County (now WV) 1857-1860
  • Elisha W. McComas, from Cabell County (now WV) 1856-1857
  • Shelton Farrar Leake, from Albemarle County 1852-1856

Boards and Commissions

Justin is proud to serve on the following boards and commissions

For more information about boards and commissions and how visit the Virginia Boards and Commissions website here

Secure and Resilent Commonwealth Panel

Emergency management and homeland security within the Commonwealth ensuiring effective response to man-made and natural disasters.

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Center for Rural Virginia

Works with policymakers and stakeholders to create innovative solutions and expand entrepreneurial opportunities to ensure economic prosperity for all regions of the Commonwealth.

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Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

To create funding resources to enhance an environment of discovery that challenges all people to embrace the ideals – and consequences – of early American history.

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Virginia Tourism Authority

Promotes and develops the tourism and motion picture industries to stimulate Virginia’s economy and enhance the quality of life of all Virginians.

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Virginia Military Advisory Council

Growing the Military Mission in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission

To determine and recommend to the General Assembly an appropriate monument in Capitol Square to commemorate the life, achievements, and legacy of American Indians in the Commonwealth.

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Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice

The Department of Juvenile Justice operates and is responsible for the vast majority of local Court Service Units (often known as juvenile probation offices) across the Commonwealth.

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Governor Northam's Children's Cabinet

The Children's Cabinet will develop solutions to address challenges that exist for children across the Commonwealth and will focus its efforts on several key priorities.

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