Virginia’s Republican Party sent voters flyers containing explicit content featuring Democratic candidate Susanna Gibson, who is running for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, two weeks before the election.
Earlier this year, Gibson accused Republicans of leaking sex acts she recorded with her husband on a public pornographic website before she became a candidate. She denounced her political opponents for sharing her and her husband’s sex tapes, which violates Virginia’s revenge porn law, and refused to let her opponent's actions deter her.
"It won’t intimidate me and it won’t silence me,” she told the Associated Press, at the time. “My political opponents and their Republican allies have proven they’re willing to commit a sex crime to attack me and my family because there’s no line they won’t cross to silence women when they speak up.'
The flyers warned of “explicit material” inside, and included alleged screenshots and quotes from Gibson about sex, as well as excerpted text from news stories on the scandal, according to local news station WWBT. The mailer envelope states that the flyer was paid for by the Republican Party of Virginia and contained the warning: “Do not open if you are under the age of 18,” in big red lettering. At the bottom of one of the flyer pages, under an explicit photo of Gibson, it reads, “Virginia deserves better.”
Children are being exposed to porn at younger ages
Gibson’s campaign released a statement that the mailer was an attempt by David Owen, her Republican opponent, and the state GOP to “try to distract voters from their extreme agenda to ban abortion, defund schools, and allow violent criminals to access weapons of war.”
Gibson, a nurse practitioner, has listed protecting reproductive rights, improving the public education system, and preventing gun violence among her priorities in her campaign for the state’s competitive 57th district seat. Currently the Virginia House of Delegates is closely split between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans hold 48 seats, Democrats hold 46 seats, and six seats are vacant.
Abhi Rahman, the communications director for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, bashed the “Republican smear tactics” in a statement.
“Desperate Republicans know they’re losing so they’ll do anything – even this disgusting invasion of privacy – to turn it around,” Rahman said. “One thing is clear: the party of ‘family values’ is no more.”