Ms. Gibson’s district, which is outside Richmond and primarily in Henrico County, is one of seven tossup seats in the 100-member House, according to the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.
Releasing damaging information about candidates of the opposing party into the heat of a campaign is an age-old political practice, but the sensational nature of the disclosure of sex tapes — reportedly featuring Ms. Gibson and her husband, a lawyer — is highly unusual. Ms. Gibson called the release of the tapes “the worst gutter politics.” The Post said it learned of the material from a “Republican operative” who denied a connection to Ms. Gibson’s opponent, David Owen, or to other political groups in Virginia.
Daniel P. Watkins, a lawyer for Ms. Gibson, said it was unlawful in the state to record someone in a state of undress and distribute it to a third party without that person’s consent.
“It’s illegal and it’s disgusting to disseminate this kind of material, and we’re working closely with the F.B.I. and local prosecutors to bring the wrongdoers to justice,” Mr. Watkins said.
Ms. Gibson gave no indication she was considering dropping out of the race.
“It won’t intimidate me and it won’t silence me,” she said in her statement. “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.”