It seems Augusta will not be a destination for Republican Leslie Gibson in 2019, unless he visits as a tourist. The GOP candidate for Maine's 57th House district announced Friday he would not seek election in November.
The Republican had originally been running unopposed, making a trip to Augusta in January 2019 a sure thing for Gibson. He reportedly made the decision to drop out of the race after discussions with family, praying and discussing it with friends and colleagues.
“It’s the best thing for everybody,” Gibson said.
I am not walking away with my head hung low. I am walking away with my head held high.”
Gibson came to international prominence over a series of Tweets where he disparaged teenage survivors turned activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A mass shooting at the school left 17 people dead.
Gibson specifically targeted Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg. Both teens are seniors at the Parkland school.
“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,” Gibson wrote on Twitter. He also claimed calling “(students) in a completely different part of the school” survivors while a gunman murdered their classmates, teacher, and coaches "disingenuous".
Gibson referred to Hogg, after an appearance criticizing National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch, as “a bald-faced liar.” After Gibson's Tweets gained national attention, Hogg had a comment of his own for Twitter.
Hey freinds in Maine! Who wants to run against this hate loving politician he's is running UNOPPOSED RUN AGAINST HI… https://t.co/OnHW2yq7fH— David Hogg text VOTE to 954-954 (@David Hogg text VOTE to 954-954)1521067627.0
Two candidates, a Democrat and a Republican, answered the call to action. Both Democrat Eryn Gilchrist, a rookie to state politics, and GOP candidate Thomas Martin Jr., a former state senator, cited Gibsons' actions as the reason they decided to enter the Maine House race.
The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school and students around the nation organizing via social media show the power of this tool. But Twitter and Facebook are tools that can help or hurt your cause.
While people are often shocked by the Tweets of some prominent politicians, they seem to suffer few consequences. Emboldened by their example, others hoping to gain political office or fame allow their thoughts onto social media to be equally unfiltered.
Many, like Leslie Gibson, discover too late their online words can have real world consequences. Not all publicity or fame is good for your career, political or otherwise, especially online.
@nytimes Thank you, Leslie Gibson, for NOT being politically correct. Thank you for showing your #TrueColors & not… https://t.co/Wvnz5d3wxA— Francisco Castro (@Francisco Castro)1521457919.0
A week ago, Leslie Gibson was running unopposed in Maine. Then he criticized survivors of the school shooting in... https://t.co/EXKCSXcIjg— Manolete John Garcia (@Manolete John Garcia)1521465815.0
After dropping out of the race for a seat in the Maine House of Representatives, Leslie Gibson said, "I am not walk… https://t.co/Pc4qMr5n1t— John Ferguson (@John Ferguson)1521464308.0
THIS REPUB CANDIDATE, LESLIE GIBSON WAS RUNNING TO REPRESENT MAINE’S DIST. 57 WHO ALSO CALLED DAVID HOGG A “MORON”… https://t.co/YffXbdSipx— Ena Gonzalez (@Ena Gonzalez)1521463561.0
#mondaymotivationLeslie Gibson quit his campaign for Maine House of Representatives after a backlash when he called… https://t.co/uK9N72bKMs— D.J. (@D.J.)1521463041.0
@PalmerReport Republican Leslie Gibson must be 45's sauropod brother wearing a different man-suit. Lizard-hearted… https://t.co/7A2HnTLaYr— Osborne Reynolds (@Osborne Reynolds)1521461470.0
Why does the Republican Party attract so many unsavoury characters? #LeslieGibson #RoyMoore ‘Skinhead Lesbian’ Twee… https://t.co/6QoFVh05jC— Jesper Bernøe (@Jesper Bernøe)1521451505.0
#LeslieGibson Maine @GOP Hate-Filled Rant Called Parkland Shooting Survivor @emma4change ‘Skinhead Lesbian’ & David… https://t.co/qMlqlTrygZ— r_meH2o (@r_meH2o)1521443500.0