RICHMOND, Va. — A Democratic candidate for the Virginia General Assembly whose race was rocked by revelations that she and her husband live-streamed their sexual relations continued her campaign on Tuesday.
Susanna Gibson, a nurse with two children, is running against a Republican businessman in one of the few competitive races that could determine the balance of power in the state’s General Assembly. The election in a suburban district on the outskirts of Richmond has attracted a large amount of money and interest for a legislative race not held in a general election year.
Gibson is gaining support as an abortion-rights candidate in a state that is a hotspot for the increasingly rarefied approach of the country’s Old South, where several states have passed abortion bans following the federal ruling. The Supreme Court in 2022 overturned the Roe v. Wade guaranteeing the right to abortion in the country.
On Monday, after The Washington Post and The Associated Press reported that Gibson had videos live-streamed on Chaturbate — a legal website where users can see live streams of nudity and sexual activity — the Gibson. of X, formerly known as Twitter.
But the Democratic state Sen. L. Louise Lucas was quick to come to her defense, asking voters to “make this the biggest fundraising day of the (Gibson) campaign.” Several voters retweeted Lucas’ post with a link to donate to Gibson’s campaign.
“Anyone who saw it knew it was an attack,” said Amanda Linton, a 45-year-old defense contractor who donated $25 to Gibson’s campaign after reading about the videos. Linton said he plans to donate another $100 to Gibson’s campaign even though he cannot vote for him because he lives outside his district.
“It’s nobody’s business. She didn’t break any laws by doing this. She slept with her husband. “My God,” said Linton.
Lucas said he thinks the videos were leaked by a Republican for the purpose of embarrassing Gibson and hurting his campaign.
“They’re looking for anything they can find about any candidate that they think will influence voters,” Lucas said. “It all has to do with who has control of the Senate and who has control of the House. “It’s all about control.”
Democrats currently hold the Senate majority by a margin of four votes, and Republicans control the House of Delegates by the same margin, with four seats vacant. The two parties are fighting intense legislative battles as Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a rising star in the GOP, tries to solidify his conservative agenda with full control of government in state.
Emily’s List, an advocacy group for Democratic women candidates, also defended Gibson.
“Susanna originally ran to overturn Roe, and was an outspoken advocate for reproductive rights. “People supported Susanna because they knew Republicans were after her because she stood up for the person,” said spokeswoman Lauren Chou.
However, some observers of Virginia politics noted that Gibson did not seem to be able to fully overcome the backlash against him.
Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington, says that even in an age more open to personal denials, Gibson is unlikely to win.
“Donald Trump downwardly redefined what is acceptable in public life, but this is not the kind of behavior Democrats can sell in a suburban Richmond district,” Farnsworth said.
Mark Rozell, dean of George Mason University’s Schar School of Politics and Government, said the sex videos were a major distraction for Gibson’s campaign.
“Explaining sex videos instead of talking about politics is a huge missed opportunity,” he said.
But Monica Hutchinson, legislative coordinator for the juvenile justice organization, said she supported Gibson before the videos were released and will continue to support him.
“Honestly, I don’t see why he can’t survive this. “He didn’t do anything wrong, he didn’t break any laws,” Hutchinson said. “Gibson’s” sex life has nothing to do with his political agenda.