A Virginia Democrat who was at the center of an online sex scandal has been defeated by her Republican opponent in one of the most competitive districts in the commonwealth.
The Associated Press projected Wednesday that Susanna Gibson narrowly lost to Republican David Owen in Virginia House District 57.
Many political scientists wrote off Gibson’s chances after The Washington Post reported in September about her participation in live-streamed sex with her husband, which included soliciting payments from viewers in exchange for specific acts.
Gibson, a 40-year-old mother of two, posted more than a dozen videos that were archived on a site called Recurbate in September 2022, which is after she officially entered the race, and the most recent videos were archived on Sept. 30, 2022.
But Gibson, a nurse practitioner, refused to withdraw from the race, and accused Republicans of dirty politics for exposing her conduct.
Gibson told The Washington Post that the incident represents “an illegal invasion of my privacy designed to humiliate me and my family.”
“It won’t intimidate me, and it won’t silence me,” Gibson added. “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.”
Republicans sought to remind voters of Gibson’s videos. The Republican Party of Virginia sent mailers to voters that contained screenshots. The envelopes warned recipients that explicit materials were contained inside and that minors should not open the envelope.
The 57th District includes parts of Richmond’s western suburbs in Henrico and Goochland counties. The nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project rated it the third most competitive of Virginia’s 100 House of Delegates districts, with only a very slight lean toward Republicans, based on recent voting patterns. Virginia voters do not register by party.
Associated Press contributed to this report