At first it looked like a Republican House candidate, who has been strongly criticized for his Twitter remarks about two students who survived the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was not going to have any opposition in the race. He now has two opponents, including a primary challenger.
Les Gibson, who is seeking the Maine House District 57 seat, representing Greene and Sabattus, wrote that one of the Parkland students was a "skinhead lesbian," the other a "bald-faced liar."
Republican Thomas Martin Jr., a former state senator from Benton, has thrown his hat in the ring. Martin says, after they had received several calls about Gibson's remarks, his wife encouraged him to run.
Martin says he does not in any way condone Gibson's comments about the Parkland students.
“[Words] influence and they have the power to create change, both good and bad, and unfortunately I think Mr. Fibson has seen the bad side of that and, everybody's entitled to their opinion, unfortunately, and you know, that was rough stuff,” Martin says.
Yesterday the Maine Democratic Party announced that Democrat Eryn Gilchrist from Greene has also submitted the necessary signatures to run.
The Portland Press Herald says Gibson has since apologized to one of the students for his comments.