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 HIM I don’t care what party JUST DO IT. https://t.co/vRR7p1ZHKf
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) March 14, 2018
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.
Thank you, Leslie Gibson, for NOT being politically correct. Thank you for showing your #TrueColors & not wasting the time of Maine Voters trying to figure out if you are an ignorant bigot or not. @mainegop @MaineDems #NeverAgain #MarchForOurLives
— Francisco Castro (@FKAFernando) March 19, 2018
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 (@MJGarciaKCMO) March 19, 2018
After dropping out of the race for a seat in the Maine House of Representatives, Leslie Gibson said, “I am not walking away with my head hung low. I am walking away with my head held high.” What an incorrigible creep! pic.twitter.com/L44y7yM2oL
— John Ferguson (@Fearguth) March 19, 2018
THIS REPUB CANDIDATE, LESLIE GIBSON WAS RUNNING TO REPRESENT MAINE’S DIST. 57 WHO ALSO CALLED DAVID HOGG A “MORON” AND A “BALDFACED LIAR” FOLLOWS IN THE STEPS OF HIS CRUEL LEADER, A HATEFUL AND DIVISIVE TRUMP https://t.co/KbjSD9cprt
— Ena Gonzalez (@Ena133Ena) March 19, 2018
#mondaymotivationLeslie Gibson quit his campaign for Maine House of Representatives after a backlash when he called Emma Gonzalez a ‘skinhead lesbian.’ I could tell without looking he is a republican. With a name like Leslie, he should be a little more careful. pic.twitter.com/LeTP0CwPhU
— William J. Dillon Jr. (@WilliamJDillon1) March 19, 2018
Republican Leslie Gibson must be 45’s sauropod brother wearing a different man-suit. Lizard-hearted non-human! pic.twitter.com/uJXAdVt3sz
— Osborne Reynolds (@brues) March 19, 2018
Good riddance to Leslie Gibson.
— Neil Geminder (@Wezilsnout) March 19, 2018
— SmichaelB (@michaelSB33) March 19, 2018
— Jesper Bernøe (@JBernoee) March 19, 2018
#LeslieGibson Maine @GOP Hate-Filled Rant Called Parkland Shooting Survivor @emma4change ‘Skinhead Lesbian’ & DavidHogg111 #CrisisActor Drops Out w/out apology #HATEFilled #NRAminion https://t.co/LPbh1Qd6Mu
— r_meH2o (@r_meH2o) March 19, 2018