WASHINGTON — Two weeks before Virginia’s Nov. 7 election, Virginia’s Republican Party has sent voters flyers containing explicit content about Democrat Susanna Gibson, who is mired in a sex scandal while running for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, NBC’s affiliate in Virginia reports.
Gibson allegedly live-streamed sex acts with her husband on a public pornographic website before becoming a candidate. The flyers, which warned on the envelope that “explicit material” was enclosed, included alleged screenshots and quotes from Gibson about sex as well as excerpted text from news stories on the scandal, according to the local affiliate.
The mailer envelope says the flyer was paid for by the Republican Party of Virginia, according to the affiliate. It also contained the warning in red lettering, “Do not open if you are under the age of 18.”
The bottom of one of the flyer pages reads, “Virginia deserves better.”
NBC News has reached out to Gibson’s campaign for comment. Her campaign released a statement saying the mailer was an attempt by her Republican opponent, David Owen, and the state GOP of “trying to distract voters from their extreme agenda to ban abortion, defund schools, and allow violent criminals to access weapons of war,” according to NBC’s affiliate. “Voters are tired of these desperate attacks, and they will not be fooled by them. From day one, Susanna has been focused on protecting reproductive freedom, fully funding our schools, and keeping our communities safe. Nothing will ever deter her commitment to our community.”
The state GOP’s chair, Rich Anderson, said in a statement that the mailer countered what he said were Gibson’s false claims that Virginia Republican Party leaked her publicly accessible videos, the affiliate reported.
“The mail piece corrects her false statements using already-published mainstream media news accounts and Gibson’s own public words as documented via her videos,” he said.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, told the affiliate that he had not seen the flyer.
“This candidate’s personal life is something that that candidate needs to explain to people, and the Democratic Party needs to have an opinion on this,” he said.
NBC News has reached out to the state GOP, Youngkin and Owen’s campaign for comment.
In a statement, the communications director for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, Abhi Rahman, bashed “Republican smear tactics.”
“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.”
Gibson, a nurse practitioner, has listed protecting reproductive rights, improving the public education system and preventing gun violence among her priorities on her campaign for the state’s competitive 57th district seat. Owen has listed lowering inflation and crime as well as improving the education system as some of his priorities on his website.
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.