Republican candidate for Maine’s House of Representatives, Leslie Gibson, quit the race on Friday after negative publicity surrounding his tweet against the survivors of the Parkland, Florida shooting. The survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have recently made themselves known for their activism in fighting for gun control.
Gibson, the only candidate in his race until recent events, called one of the teens a “skinhead lesbian” in his rage-filled tweet. The teen in question is Emma Gonzalez, one of the more outspoken survivors of the shooting.
You said it was @gibson_house that said that?
Like, LESLIE GIBSON, the Tresurer of @AndroGOP? The guy running for District 57 State House seat? He called @Emma4Change what???
— Darth Mueller (@TrumanChapman27) March 12, 2018
“There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you’re a frothing at the mouth moonbat,” read Gibson’s deleted tweet.
According to reporters, Gibson’s tweet was in direct response to Gonzalez’s increasing number of Twitter followers. Gonzalez’s following has grown as she voices her opinions on the government’s attempt to get a handle on gun control policy in the United States. Recently, Gonzalez denounced President Trump’s plan to arm teachers.
But Gonzalez isn’t Gibson’s only victim of verbal abuse. Gibson reportedly called David Hogg, another Parkland shooting victim-turned-activist, “a bald-faced liar.” The move was a mistake, as Hogg took the opportunity to solicit for an opponent for Gibson on Twitter.
Hey freinds in Maine! Who wants to run against this hate loving politician he’s is running UNOPPOSED RUN AGAINST HIM I don’t care what party JUST DO IT. https://t.co/vRR7p1ZHKf
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) March 14, 2018
His tweet gained popularity and two other candidates declared that they would enter the race — Democrat Eryn Gilchrist and Republican Thomas Martin Jr.
Gibson announced that a conversation with Martin was what led him to make his decision. But Gibson isn’t the only person to say hateful comments about the Parkland students. Luckily, their critics don’t receive much backup. The media has repeatedly turned on people like Gibson, including high profile politicians like Donald Trump Jr., who liked a tweet that suggested the shooting victims had been coached to promote a specific agenda.
Despite comments like these, the students are moving forward with their activism – and even clapping back at their critics. Hogg told Buzzfeed News that the critics are ridiculous.
“I just think it’s a testament to the sick immaturity and broken state of our government when these people feel the need to peddle conspiracy theories about people that were in a school shooting where 17 people died, and it just makes me sick,” said Hogg. “It’s immature, rude and inhuman for these people to destroy the people trying to prevent the death of the future of America because they won’t.”