UPDATE: Mar 17, 11 a. m. ― Maine state House candidate Leslie Gibson (R) dropped out of the competition on Friday after facing solid backlash for maligning student active supporters and workers who survived last month’ s i9000 school shooting in Parkland, Fl.
Gibson had been running unopposed, yet his comments prompted Democrat Eryn Gilchrist ― who has never operate for office before ― to leap into the race right before the filing deadline Thursday. The lady has been joined by His party contender Thomas Martin Jr., an ex state senator.
“ I am not really walking away with my head put up low. I am walking away along with my head held high, ” Gibson told the Portland Press Herald .
The Republican candidate for the Maine legislature apologized after attacking two college students who survived the Parkland senior high school massacre, calling one a “ skinhead lesbian” and another the “ bald-faced liar. ”
Leslie Gibson, who’ s running unopposed in this year’ s election for that Maine House 57th District, removed tweets bashing the students plus wrote a letter to 18-year-old Emma Gonzalez, who he had known as a “ skinhead lesbian. ” Gonzalez identifies as bisexual.
“ I would like to extend to you the most sincere apology for the way i addressed you. It was wrong plus unacceptable, ” Gibson stated in a tweet. “ You are doing function that is important to you. I would like to increase my hand in friendship and knowing to you. ”
Gibson didn’ capital t apologize for calling 17-year-old Brian Hogg a “ bald-faced liar. ”
Gonzalez and Hogg are among the most vocal student advocates meant for stricter gun control since the February. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Sarasota. Hogg appeared on CNN this week to urge President Jesse Trump to prove he isn’ t “ owned” by the National Rifle Organization . Gonzalez was honored simply by LGBTQ rights group Equality Florida for her activism.
Gibson, a very long time NRA member, took to Twitter in order to attack Gonzalez after seeing a write-up in The Hill in regards to the teen surpassing the NRA within Twitter followers.
“ There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me plus there is nothing that she has to say unless of course you’ re a frothing on the mouth moonbat, ” he had written.
In another tweet, Gibson stated Gonzalez should not be called a “ survivor” because she was “ in a totally different part of the school ” during the shooting. Gibson also known as Hogg a “ moron” plus accused him of lying following the student said NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch “ owns” members associated with Congress.
“ Hogg doesn’ capital t get a pass when he coldly lies, ” Gibson tweeted.
The particular candidate’ s insults were fulfilled with outrage. State Sen. Amy Volk (R) called for Gibson to pull away from the state Home race, as did Phil Barlett, chairman of the Maine Democratic Celebration, who blasted Gibson’ s responses as “ disgusting and not associated with Maine values, ” reported sunlight Journal.
As criticism installed, Gibson scrubbed the tweets through his Twitter account and apologized to Gonzalez. He later produced his personal and campaign Tweets accounts private.
He told a Sunlight Journal reporter that even though “ it was not appropriate in order to single out the Parkland students… We stand firm in my defense of our own constitutional rights. ”
“ We are very passionate about protecting our constitutional rights from those who seek their own elimination, ” Gibson stated.
Gibson is the only announced candidate for a state House region where the Republican incumbent has already offered the maximum number of terms allowed legally. Democrats have until Thursday to come up with a candidate. The submitting deadline for independent candidates is certainly June 1 .
Sara Boboltz contributed reporting.