One of two Florida teenagers criticized by a Sabattus politician issued a blunt call Wednesday for someone to make sure Republican Leslie Gibson faces an opponent in this year’s state House race.

“Who wants to run against this hate-loving politician?” asked David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. “I don’t care what party. JUST DO IT.”

Democrat Eryn Gilchrist of Greene is doing just that. She filed the required paperwork Thursday to run for the 57th District seat.

She said she never anticipated running for office but felt so “horrified and embarrassed” at the thought of Gibson representing her that she decided to jump in.

“I would really have been happy to partake in representative democracy by voting,” Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist, 28, a Connecticut native who works for a medical device company based in Bowdoin, is a 2013 graduate of Bates College.


“We could not be happier to have Eryn run,” House Speaker Sara Gideon said in a prepared statement. “She is a concerned member of her community who cares about the future of her neighbors – and, like many other Democrats across Maine, she’s now stepping up to help them.”

State Democratic Chairman Phil Bartlett said the party is “excited to have Eryn enter this race. We know that she will be a champion for the people of Sabattus and Greene in the State House and will work hard to ensure that what happens in Augusta improves the lives of her neighbors and community members.”

Gilchrist, who is married, said she looks forward “to working hard over the next several months to earn the trust and support of people throughout my community.”

The move follows a firestorm of online criticism from people upset with Gibson’s comments.

Gibson landed in the national spotlight after a Sun Journal story called attention to the retired Navy veteran’s harsh words for Hogg and classmate Emma Gonzalez, both of whom were at school last month when a gunman killed 17 people.

Hogg, a student journalist, used a cellphone to document what it was like being trapped in a classroom during the attack.


He told CNN that he wanted “to show these people exactly what’s going on when these children are facing bullets flying through classrooms.”

In the days after the massacre, Hogg called for a crackdown on the easy availability of high-capacity guns like the AR-15 used to kill his classmates.

Hogg drew Gibson’s wrath for denouncing a National Rifle Association spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, and claiming she worked with gun manufacturers to control Congress.

“She owns these congressmen. She can get them to do things,” Hogg told the network, adding, “She doesn’t care about these children’s lives.”

Gibson quickly took to Twitter to call Hogg “a bald-faced liar” and a moron.

He focused on Gonzalez as well after she also criticized the gun lobby.


“There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you’re frothing at the mouth moonbat,” Gibson wrote.

Gibson, who has declined comment, later apologized to Gonzalez.

“Emma, my name is Les Gibson from Maine. I would like to extend to you my most sincere apology for how I addressed you,” Gibson wrote. “It was wrong and unacceptable.”

The Maine Republican Party has not commented about Gibson, but Democrats have denounced him and blasted Republicans for their silence.

The 57th District includes Greene and Sabattus. It has been represented by Stephen Wood, a Republican who is leaving the seat because of term limits. The general election is Nov. 6.

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