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The Republican who called Emma Gonzalez a ‘skinhead lesbian’ could now lose his seat

Josh Jackman March 16, 2018

(Twitter/gibson_house and Getty)

A Democrat has risen up to challenge the Republican who called school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez “a skinhead lesbian”.

Leslie Gibson was the only person in the District 57 race for a place in Maine’s House of Representatives when he lashed out at the bisexual head of Stoneman Douglas High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

Together with fellow students like David Hogg and Cameron Kasky, the 18-year-old activist has prompted a tidal wave of public sentiment in favour of better gun regulations following the shooting in Florida, which killed 17.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez speaks at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. Seventeen perished and more than a dozen were wounded in the hail of bullets at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland,Florida the latest mass shooting to devastate a small US community and renew calls for gun control. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

Gibson, reportedly in his 60s, targeted the teenager as all brave people do: through his Twitter account with 74 followers.

“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 wrote.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Emma Gonzalez hugs her father Jose Gonzalez as they join other people after a school shooting that killed 17 to protest against guns on the steps of the Broward County Federal courthouse on February 17, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Earlier this week former student Nikolas Cruz opened fire with a AR-15 rifle at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killing 17 people. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Emma Gonzalez hugs her father (Getty)

In another tweet, he said that Gonzalez should not be called a survivor because she “was in a completely different part of the school” when her fellow students were shot dead.

The tweets prompted outrage and a call from local organisers – as well as Hogg, who Gibson called a “bald-faced liar” – for a Democratic opponent to run against him.

(Twitter/davidhogg111)

Eryn Gilchrist, 28, has met that challenge.

Gilchrist, who works at a medical device company, said she wasn’t intending to throw her hat into the ring – until she saw Gibson’s inflammatory attack.

(Maine Democratic Party)

“I never thought I would run for office, and I was perfectly content with just remaining a member of the community,” Gilchrist said.

But, she added, “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.”

She continued: “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.”

(Twitter/SeanSmithME)

She will get the chance to prove herself in November’s election.

Gibson apologised to Gonzalez after his tweets, saying: “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.”

PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 25: Emma Gonzalez (L), a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and others walk to campus on February 25, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Today, students and parents were allowed on campus for the first time since the shooting that killed 17 people on February 14. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for the 17 murders. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Getty)

But it seems that the damage has been done, as he now has an opponent.

Gibson has since deleted his Twitter account, through which he retweeted far-right Republicans like anti-gay and anti-trans actor James Woods and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

Gonzalez, who now has nearly double as many followers on Twitter as the National Rifle Association, has been honoured by LGBT group Equality Florida this week for her activism.

She has been at the forefront of the #NeverAgain movement since her impassioned speech at a rally last month in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The high school senior powerfully repeated the phrase “We call BS” about NRA-funded politicians, gun advocates and those who don’t believe the Parkland teenagers know enough to speak up.

On Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show, Gonzalez explained that she chose the phrase because she wanted the message to be memorable and universal.

The teenager also bravely took on the NRA’s Dana Loesch at the CNN town hall on gun control last week, telling Loesch, who has two kids, that “we will support your two children in the way that you will not.”

More: democrat, Eryn Gilchrist, Florida, leslie gibson, parkland, Politics, Republican, school shooting, US, US

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