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Roy Moore accuser can't run for Florida House seat because of state law

Posted at 7:27 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 19:50:07-05

Earlier this week, Deborah Gibson, the Delray Beach woman who claimed failed US Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama dated her when she was just a teenager, announced her plans to run for the Florida House of Representatives.

On Wednesday, Contact 5 Investigator Sam Smink informed her, she couldn't legally run. 

Contact 5 sat down with Deborah Gibson in Homestead, where she was working Wednesday.

Gibson owns and operates Signs of Excellence, a sign language firm. When discussing her intent to run for House District 89, Gibson said, "I am in the process of learning what the different municipalities have as primary concerns," but added that she understood a big concern for the district was the oceanfront and beach nourishment.

District 89 runs from North Palm Beach to Boca Raton. The state house District 89 seat is open because its current representative, Republican Bill Hager, can't run again because of term limits.

Gibson became known nationwide in 2017, when she told the Washington Post she dated then US Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama when she was 17. Moore was 34. 

"I had never been maligned by him but I believe my story while brief and innocuous helped establish a pattern that he dated young girl while he was the assistant DA in his 30s," said Gibson. 

Gibson said she intended to run as a Democrat.

"That’s a new thing for me on paper. Been a Democrat in spirit for probably about a decade now. When Trump was elected I realized I could not align with that," said Gibson.

Gibson, a former registered Republican,  officially changed her party affiliation on February 18, 2018. By law, that mean Gibson cannot seek office this year.

Qualifying for the House race begins on June 18. Florida law requires candidates to switch parties a year before the start of qualifying. Contact 5 broke the news to Gibson. 

Saying she wasn't aware of the law, Gibson then said, "If you told me I was disqualified from running, then I would say that my heart for service will be used in some different way."

Gibson says she will use the free time she now has, to learn more about the area she eventually wants to represent. Gibson says she will run for office when she is able to do so. 

Gibson's announced her campaign on Crowdpac, a political fundraising site. She has received more than $1700. Gibson said that money will be returned.

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