Updated on March 17, 2018, 3:40 PM EST: GOP state legislature candidate Leslie Gibson dropped out of running and called his decision “the best thing for everybody.” The article below reflects his prior remarks as a candidate, pursuit of the seat and resultant tensions.

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Political petulance, Twitter fingers and mocking teenage gun violence survivors might cost Republican Maine House of Representatives candidate Leslie Gibson the seat he previously pursued unopposed. On Tuesday, a Democratic organizer named Pat Fogg said she wished she knew a political opponent for Gibson. By the end of business on Thursday, 28-year-old Eryn Gilchrist, a Democrat, filed her candidacy for the 57th District seat. 

“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 tweeted about 18-year-old Emma Gonzales. Gonzales emerged from the Parkland shooting as one of the most visible young gun reform activists. Her we-call-B.S. speech to the National Rifle Association and President Donald Trump reminded politicians that the next generation is neither uninformed nor politically disengaged.  

The Daily Dot reported that Gibson also said Gonzales was not a survivor of the school shooting because she was in a “different part of the school” than the 17 people Nikolas Cruz killed at her school last month. 

Where inter-generational political disagreements can segue into civil discourse, the current civility threshold is compromised. Gibson attacked Gonzales’ sexual orientation as an openly bisexual person and oddly portrayed the young Brown woman of Cuban descent as if she were a traditional white supremacist, just because she does not want guns distributed in America with the same ease as pamphlets.

The same Maine voters who find his attack against Gonzales vile will likely remember that he called 17-year-old David Hogg, another Parkland survivor, a “bald-faced liar.”

After immense pressure, Gibson apologized, offering the excuse that his military career trained him to “to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

“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.”

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