Parkland survivor and activist Emma González moved into the center of the public eye when she gave a riveting speech attacking the NRA, Trump, and the other adults who failed to protect her and her 17 peers who were killed during the largest high school shooting in U.S. history. Though González and her fellow survivors turned activists are still only teens, many people online have taken her new public status as an opportunity to chuck hate speech and conspiracy theories toward the high school kids.
Such disgusting behavior was exhibited by a Republican Maine House of Representatives Candidate, who went on Twitter to attack the young student. "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," Leslie Gibson tweeted, according to the Press Herald.
Gibson reportedly denied that González was a "survivor" since she "was in a completely different part of the school" when the shooting took place. He also attacked survivor and activist David Hogg, calling him a "bald faced liar."
Gibson's attacks on student survivors were abhorrent to both Republicans and Democrats, who chided the candidate. As BuzzFeed News reports, Republican Representative Bruce Bickford from Maine criticized Gibson on Facebook. "This type of behavior is not an example of the Republican Party," he wrote. "I cannot and will not support this person! So Sad!!"
Phil Bartlett, the chair of the Maine Democratic Party, also condemned Gibson’s actions. "Regardless of where someone falls along the political spectrum, we should all be able to agree that Les Gibson’s comments are reprehensible and deserving of our denunciation," he told the Press Herald.
In response to the backlash, Gibson has apologized to González and resigned from the race. "Emma, my name is Les Gibson from Maine," he wrote. "I would like to extend to you my most sincere apology for how I addressed you. It was wrong and unacceptable."
In Gibson’s absence, two candidates have stepped up to run for the position: former Republican Senator Thomas Martin Jr. and Democrat Eryn Gilchrist. Gilchrist, a 28-year-old, decided to run after being "horrified and embarrassed" that Gibson could become her representative. González thanked Gilchrist for running in a tweet. “All I can say is thank you,” she wrote.