A Republican who was running unopposed for a seat in Maine’s House of Representatives has dropped out of the race after calling a survivor of the Florida school shooting a “skinhead lesbian.”
Leslie Gibson had no competitors before he wrote now-deleted tweets in which he called Emma González, a student-turned-activist, a “skinhead lesbian” and David Hogg, fellow survivor who is also pushing for gun reform, a “baldfaced liar” and “moron.”
According to multiple media outlets, Gibson was responding to a story posted on The Hill about how González has more Twitter followers than the National Rifle Association (which she does). The full tweet about González reportedly said, “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.”
He also reportedly said González isn’t a real survivor because she “was in a completely different part of the school” when the shooting occurred.
Gibson also called out Hogg, who appeared on CNN to slam politicians that are in the NRA’s pockets.
“She owns these congressmen. She can get them to do things,” Hogg said, referring to NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch. “She doesn’t care about these children’s lives.”
Gibson called Hogg “a bald faced liar” and said, “Dana Loesch ‘owns’ Congressmen? Completely absurd.”
The NRA is not among the top 50 organization contributors for political campaigns. But when it does make contributions, it is almost exclusively to Republicans. The organization has already spent nearly $200,000 on Republican congressional candidates for the 2018 cycle.
The FBI is also currently investigating whether or not Russia gave money to the NRA to support Trump’s campaign. There is speculation that the money came from Alexander Torshin, a top Russian banker and a lifelong NRA member.
According to a McClatchy report, a connection between Torshin, the NRA and Trump cannot yet be confirmed — but, “the NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections, including $30 million to support Trump – triple what the group devoted to backing Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Most of that was money was spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to disclose its donors.”
However high the amount was, it was enough for Trump to express his gratitude at the NRA’s 2017 convention. “You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you,” he said to the organization. “I will never, ever let you down.”
Gibson has since deleted his personal Twitter account where he made the remarks about González and Hogg.
Hogg also called on Maine to produce candidates to run against Gibson.
“Who wants to run against this hate-loving politician?” Hogg asked. “I don’t care what party. JUST DO IT.”
Gibson’s comments encouraged two people to do just that. Eryn Gilchrist, a Democrat running for office for the first time, and Thomas Martin Jr., a Republican who was previously a state senator, joined the race.
According to the Press Herald, Gibson said he is defending the United States Constitution because of his military career background.
“Because of this,” he said, “I am very passionate about protecting our constitutional rights from those who seek their elimination. It was not appropriate to single out the Parkland students, but I stand firm in my defense of our constitutional rights.”
Gibson, a lifetime member of the NRA, also said after the shooting in Florida that the Second Amendment is “under attack.”
González, Hogg and their fellow classmates/activists have not called for the Second Amendment to be repealed but hope to see stricter gun laws and less power exerted by the NRA.