Maine Republican who called Parkland shooting survivor ‘skinhead lesbian’ drops bid for state House seat
A Republican candidate for the state legislature in Maine who called an outspoken Parkland shooting survivor a “skinhead lesbian” has dropped out of the race.
Leslie Gibson announced Friday he was ending his bid for a state House seat after he insulted 18-year-old Emma Gonzalez, who gave a rousing speech calling for gun control in the days following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 dead in Florida last month.
Despite his shocking attack, Gibson told the Press Herald on Friday, “I am not walking away with my head hung low. I am walking away with my head held high.”
Gibson, responding to a report about Gonzalez’s rising profile on social media, tweeted, “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.”
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez giving a speech at a gun control rally at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
(RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
He also criticized another student turned gun control activist David Hogg, calling him a “bald-faced liar.”
Hogg responded on Wednesday by calling for candidates to run against Gibson, who was the lone candidate before Democrat Eryn Gilchrist and Republican Thomas Martin Jr. stepped up to the plate.
“Who wants to run against this hate-loving politician?” asked Hogg. “I don’t care what party. JUST DO IT.”
Democratic Eryn Gilchrist entered the race after Leslie Gibson’s insults.
Both Gilchrist and Martin Jr., who entered the race on Thursday — the state’s filing deadline for House candidates — cited Gibson’s insults as an impetus to run.
Gibson apologized on Twitter, writing, “I would like to extend to you my most sincere apology for how I addressed you.”
“It was wrong and unacceptable. You are doing work that is important to you. I would like to extend my hand in friendship and understanding to you,” he added, before he changed his account settings to protected.
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