WATERVILLE — Mayor Nick Isgro is facing a fury of criticism for a tweet in which he appears to have told Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg to “Eat it, Hogg.”

The tweet, which did not show up in Isgro’s feed Wednesday but had been screenshot by a group called Waterville Republicans, came in response to an article about Fox News backing host Laura Ingraham for disparaging comments she made about Hogg, a gun control advocate.

In a tweet Tuesday, the newly formed Waterville Republicans account said it was “deeply disappointed” by Isgro’s comments and he should apologize to Hogg.

“As (Second Amendment) supporters, we don’t agree with David’s policy ideas, but he should be treated with respect and decency, especially given the terrible tragedy he endured,” it said.

The account is run by a “Bob C.,” who would not give his full name but said in a message to a reporter he is also behind other accounts that troll Maine Republicans.

Isgro did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday night or Wednesday.


However, the tweet he appears to have posted also spurred broader reaction, including from the Maine Democratic Party, which criticized Isgro in a news release saying the Republican mayor “is well known for his bombastic and often aggressive rhetoric on Twitter.”

“Barring the unlikely event that this tweet was somehow manufactured, Nick Isgro should be ashamed of his comment,” said Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett in the release. “Simply put, it is not representative of the people of Waterville.

“It’s completely fine to disagree with someone, but to verbally attack a student who has survived the unimaginable is beyond the pale. These young people are courageous and inspiring, and we should be looking to them as examples — not lashing out at them for standing up for what they believe in.

“Isgro’s remarks reveal a dark strain of ideology within the Maine Republican Party — one that is not shared by the vast majority of Maine Republicans, but one that seems to have found a home within the party nonetheless. That’s why today we call on the Maine Republican Party to condemn Isgro’s remarks instead of hiding from them, and urge Republicans across the state to stand up against this type of hatred and bigotry.”

The post follows recent social media outrage over tweets by another Maine politician, Leslie Gibson, about the Parkland shooting. Last month, Gibson called Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez a “skinhead lesbian,” leading to social media outrage that eventually forced him to drop out of the race for the House District 57 seat. He also referred to Hogg as a “bald faced liar.”

In a message to a reporter, “Bob C.” said he was behind the Waterville account targeting Isgro as well as another Twitter account, @trumanchapman27, that was one of the first to call attention to the comments by Gibson.


Bob C. said he has been running anonymous troll Twitter accounts for the last few months with a goal to “destroy the Republican party in Maine” and “ensure we only have liberal progressives in office.”

Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine Republican Party, said he hadn’t seen the exchange on Twitter and declined to comment on it.

“We are at a point in our nation’s history right now where we feel some major reforms are needed,” Savage said. “The other side is trying to maintain the status quo and it’s hurting our country and the future for our children. So there are going to be political disagreements and I think that’s what is leading to a lot of this, but it’s not something we can get in the middle of.”

Bob C. said he is not affiliated with @WtvlGOP, another account for the Waterville GOP. That account, which dates back to July 2017, recently tweeted that Hogg is an “FBI and CNN stooge” and tweeted a photo of Gonzalez saying it’s “hard to tell the difference these days” between boys and girls.

A message sent to that page was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368


Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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