The Republican who called Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez a “skinhead lesbian” is about to have some competition in the Maine 57th Congressional District race.
Democrat Eryn Gilchrist announced on Thursday she would be taking on Leslie Gibson, the state Senate hopeful who ignited national controversy when he criticized Gonzalez and other survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a series of since-deleted tweets, Gibson claimed the 18-year-old bisexual didn’t impress him much.
“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 said of the Latinx activist earlier this week.
Gibson, who referred to her classmate David Hogg as a “bald-faced liar” for his criticism of the NRA, also claimed Gonzalez’s advocacy is “disingenuous.” The student has helped lead a national movement for gun control since the Feb. 14 tragedy, but the conservative kvetched that she was “in a completely different part” of the school at the time of the attack.
Gilchrist, who has never held public office and works at a medical device company, claimed in a statement that voters deserve better than his rhetoric.
“I never thought I would run for office, and I was perfectly content with just remaining a member of the community, but after reading Mr. Gibson’s comments I thought that the people of Greene and Sabattus deserved a representative who will respect people and try to work through their differences to make our lives better,” the Democrat said in a press release.
“That’s what I pledge to do if I am lucky enough to be elected, and I look forward to working hard over the next several months to earn the trust and support of people throughout my community,” she added.
Gilchrist filed her paperwork right before the 5pm deadline.
The upstart politician has already received the official support of the Maine Democratic Party, as well as local lawmakers. Phil Bartlett, chairman of the state’s Democratic affiliate, claimed the party was “excited” to see her contend in the race.
“We know that she will be a champion for the people of Sabattus and Greene in the State House and will work hard to ensure that what happens in Augusta improves the lives of her neighbors and community members,” he said of Gilchrist, who resides in the town of Greene with her husband and dog.
House Speaker Sara Gideon said Democrats in the legislature “could not be happier” about the news of her candidacy.
“She is a concerned member of her community who cares about the future of her neighborsand, like many other Democrats across Maine, she’s now stepping up to help them,” Gideon claimed in a press release.
Just hours after announcing her candidacy, Gilchrist already counts 5,700 followers on her official Twitter account.
Glichrist’s campaign is likely to upend a race that should have been a sure-bet for the GOP. A conservative has won the election for Maine’s 57th every election for the past six years. The incumbent, Stephen Wood, beat challenger Nicholas Gayton by more than 30 points in 2016. Wood snowed his competition by an even larger margin in the previous election: 63 points. That candidate, Gerard Tardif, was also a Republican.
Until this week, Gibson was running unopposed in the district.
The conservative has since apologized to Gonzalez and deactivated his Twitter account. In his apology, Gibson claimed patriotism made him do it.
“Because of this, I am very passionate about protecting our constitutional rights from those who seek their elimination,” he told the Lewiston Sun Journal, a daily newspaper based in Maine, on Monday. “It was not appropriate to single out the Parkland students, but I stand firm in my defense of our constitutional rights.”
“My passion for defending our rights must be tempered with civility, and that did not happen in this instance,” Gibson continued.
He has yet to comment on Gilchrist’s candidacy.
Photos via Twitter