Candidate Who Insulted Parkland Survivor Drops Out

He called Emma Gonzalez a 'skinhead lesbian'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2018 2:51 AM CDT
Candidate Who Insulted Parkland Survivor Drops Out
Emma Gonzalez, a senior who survived Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, talks with people at North Community Park in Parkland, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.   (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

A Maine candidate's attack on an outspoken survivor of the Parkland school shooting angered so many people that he ended up having to drop out of a race in which he had been running unopposed. Leslie Gibson, a Republican who had been running for a state House seat in the 57th district, tweeted that Emma Gonzalez was a "skinhead lesbian" with nothing to say "unless you’re a frothing at the mouth moonbat." In another tweet from his now-deleted account, Gibson rejected Gonzalez's claim to be a survivor of the mass shooting, saying she had been in a "completely different part of the school," BuzzFeed reports. He also called David Hogg, another survivor, a "bald-faced liar," prompting Hogg to ask whether anybody would run against him, the Washington Post reports.

After the tweets—which were denounced by several Republican state lawmakers—28-year-old Democrat Eryn Gilchrist announced her candidacy, saying she would be "horrified and embarrassed" to have Gibson represent her. Thomas Martin Jr., a Republican, also announced his candidacy, saying he represented "real Republican values," the Portland Press Herald reports. Gibson, who apologized to Gonzalez earlier in the week for the "wrong and unacceptable" way in which he addressed her, dropped out of the race Friday, saying he had made the decision after speaking to family members, friends, and Martin. "I am not walking away with my head hung low. I am walking away with my head held high," he said. (After the Parkland shooting, Gonzalez called out President Trump and the NRA.)

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