A Republican mayor in Maine will face a recall vote after he tweeted a post mocking a teenage survivor of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Last month, Nick Isgro, mayor of Waterville, Maine, tweeted an article about Fox News co-president Jack Abernethy standing by host Laura Ingraham after she made fun of Parkland student David Hogg for receiving several college rejection letters.
Isgro shared the article with the comment “Eat it, Hogg,” in the since-deleted tweet.
On Friday, the Waterville city clerk’s office confirmed to HuffPost that a petition to remove Isgro from office had received enough signatures to force a recall vote. A total of 887 valid signatures ― 30 more than needed ― were gathered, said Sarah Cross, the city’s deputy clerk.
The City Council now has to call a special election for the recall vote, which it will discuss during a May 8 budget workshop, Cross said. The vote will likely take place during the city’s June 12 elections.
Former Waterville Mayor Karen Heck, a Democrat who previously endorsed Isgro, along with residents Hilary Koch and Jim Chiddix, spearheaded the recall effort.
The petition’s creators said the effort “has revealed how many Waterville citizens are concerned that Mayor Isgro is no longer able to fulfill the duty of acting as a good ambassador for Waterville,” in a statement to the Morning Sentinel on Thursday.
“He has failed to show leadership, accept responsibility for his actions, and has contributed to the divisiveness in our community,” the statement said.
Isgro called the recall effort “a disgraceful and dishonest campaign” in a statement posted Thursday evening on Facebook, saying “a dark cloud of deceit will descend on Waterville” in the coming weeks.
“It appears that outside special interest groups spending thousands of dollars—while colluding with well-connected political elites and the local press—allegedly turned in enough signatures to have a vote to repeal our accomplishments and repeal local control of Our City,” Isgro wrote.
Since the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting, Hogg and other survivors have come forward as fierce advocates for safe gun legislation. This activism has made the students frequent targets for conservatives more than twice their age.
Leslie Gibson, another Republican politician from Maine, in March referred to Parkland student and activist Emma González a “skinhead lesbian.” Gibson was running uncontested as a GOP candidate for a state House seat but dropped out following the disparaging comments.