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Leslie Gibson Drops Out of State House Race

AP Photo

Republican Maine State House candidate Leslie Gibson has announced that he is dropping out of the race for the Maine House District 57 seat, representing Greene and Sabattus.

Gibson came under fire for his Twitter remarks about two students who survived the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. He wrote that one of the Parkland survivors was a "skinhead lesbian," and the other a "bald-faced liar." Gibson later apologized to one of the students.

Gibson said he made the decision after meeting with friends, family and colleagues, including having what he calls a "very positive conversation" with Republican candidate Thomas Martin Jr.  Gibson said that his dropping out is "the best decision for myself, my family, the Maine GOP and for candidate Tom Martin."

The Sun Journal reports that Gibson also said that “I am not walking away with my head hung low. I am walking away with my head held high.”

Gibson had been running unopposed for the seat, but this week Martin, from Benton, and Democrat Eryn Gilchrist, from Greene, both entered the race. Both candidates cited Gibson's remarks on Twitter as motivation for running.

This story was updated Saturday at 7:51 a.m.

Caitlin Troutman is the Digital News and Content Producer for Maine Public. Caitlin worked as a writer and editor for various publications before discovering her love for public media at KCUR in Kansas City. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Critical Theory from the Oxbridge Honors Program at William Jewell College and the University of Oxford. She joined Maine Public in 2018.