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Virginia Democrat in key state House race calls sharing of pornographic videos ‘the worst gutter politics’

A competitive Virginia House race has taken a highly sensitive turn as Susanna Gibson, the Democratic candidate for the 57th District, denounces the leaking of sexually explicit videos involving herself and her husband. The videos, which were reportedly shared on a pornographic livestreaming website, were exposed by The Washington Post on Monday.

Gibson, a 40-year-old nurse practitioner and mother of two young children, faces Republican David Owen, a retired home builder, in the suburban Richmond district. This race is considered key to the Democratic Party’s hopes of overturning the 50-46 GOP majority in the Virginia General Assembly during the upcoming elections.

The leaked videos were streamed in exchange for “tips” on a non-password-protected livestreaming adult website where the couple had more than 5,700 followers. The videos were subsequently recorded and archived on another site. It is important to note that CNN has not independently verified the content of the videos.

Gibson’s attorney, Daniel P. Watkins, stated that the sharing of the videos violated Virginia’s revenge porn law. He emphasized their intent to work closely with law enforcement to hold those responsible accountable.

In response to the leak, Gibson described it as an “illegal invasion of my privacy designed to humiliate me and my family.” She expressed her determination not to be intimidated or silenced, asserting that her political opponents were willing to commit a sex crime to attack her and her family. Gibson accused her opponents of attempting to silence her because they wanted to silence women when they speak up, emphasizing that she would not allow that to happen.

Her Republican opponent, David Owen, learned about the existence of the videos when The Washington Post published its story. Owen expressed empathy for Gibson and her family during this challenging time and remained focused on his campaign.

The outcome of this legislative race is of significant political importance, as it could determine whether Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin can enact conservative policies, including a 15-week abortion ban. This race is part of the larger political landscape in Virginia, where Democrats are defending a 22-18 state Senate majority. The results could also impact speculation about Governor Youngkin’s potential entry into the 2024 GOP presidential race.

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