A woman who claims to have dated failed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore when she was only a teenager has now reportedly changed her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat.
According to The Hill, Deborah Gibson said she was only 17 when she and the Republican politician — who was 34 — dated, and that she has left the GOP in order to vie for a spot as a Democrat in the Florida Legislature.
The sought-after spot by the newly-initiated Democrat is for the 89th District seat in the Florida House, a position that is currently held by Republican Bill Hager.
“Coming off the sidelines for the first time politically seems a natural response to realizing that too many of us, particularly women, have felt that some special mysterious qualification was needed to participate in our democratic process as a candidate,” said Gibson, whose statement was posted on her campaign’s fundraising site.
“The past 5 months have crystallized what’s been coming to me for a decade more gradually — the Republican Party is no longer the right fit for me,” she added. “I am proudly running as a Democrat.”
Gibson had been one of the first women to come forward, accusing Moore of inappropriate behavior in a report by the Washington Post last fall, and even shared a card that Moore allegedly gave her when she graduated from high school.
“Happy graduation Debbie,” the card states. “I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you’ll be a success in anything you do. Roy.”
The romantic pursual reportedly began when Moore was an Alabama chief justice for the Etowah County District Attorney’s Office and had spoken at the high school Gibson attended.
The accusation was just one among a handful of women accusing the Alabama hopeful of having a relationship with them while they were only teenagers and he was in his thirties, with select others alleging sexual misconduct.
Though noting the differentiating age of the pair, Gibson said that Moore hadn’t assaulted her, but that their brief relationship consisted “only of consensual kissing.”
The peak of the allegations occurred during his Senate campaign last year, where he ran against Democratic opponent Doug Jones.
The allegations spurned a back and forth between both the women and Moore, Democrats and Republicans alike, as it came amid the ever-growing “Me Too” movement that helped give a voice for victims of sexual harassment or abuse to come forward.
Moore vehemently denied the allegations, labeling the women as liars and citing the accusations as a ploy created by the Democrats to end him politically. He ultimately lost the special election to Jones later in December.
Leigh Corfman, one of the women who had accused Moore of assault, has reportedly filed a defamation suit against Moore, alleging that his campaign and the politician himself defamed her by stating she was immoral and a liar.
As for Gibson, who intends to pursue her political pursuit despite a rough beginning in the world of politics, stated on her fundraising site that her platform includes “equality for all, common sense gun law reform,” and “education quality and access” among a host of other issues.
“There is a Chinese proverb that says ‘Women hold up half the sky,'” Gibson wrote on her site. “Yet women do not hold 50% of the positions in our government.”
“Division has itself become a primary and proximate issue, and it is time that we govern again,” she added. “I humbly ask your support for a place at the stakeholder table.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.