Far-Right Candidate in Missouri Draws Backlash for Homophobic Video

Far-Right Candidate in Missouri Draws Backlash for Homophobic Video

It was a fringe Republican marketing campaign advert that might be ripe for parody on late-night tv, excellent materials for a skit on “Saturday Night Live” or the goal of a monologue from a bewildered Jon Stewart. Except it was actual, and it’s arduous to think about the way it might be additional satirized.

“In America, you might be something you need,” Valentina Gomez, a 25-year-old Latino immigrant and actual property investor operating within the G.O.P. major for secretary of state in Missouri, says within the video as she jogs by a historic district of St. Louis to the uplifting beats of “The Show Goes On” by Lupe Fiasco.

“So don’t be weak and homosexual. Stay arduous,” she continues, emphasizing her assertion with an expletive. The neighborhood the place the video was filmed, Soulard, has a major L.G.B.T. neighborhood.

The marketing campaign advert, which Ms. Gomez shared on her social media accounts, then transitions from the video of Ms. Gomez — sporting operating shorts and a vest resembling physique armor — to a nonetheless photograph of the candidate in entrance of a truck and sporting a National Rifle Association hat, with an American flag at her facet and a gun in every hand.

The marketing campaign advert, first posted on Sunday, has drawn condemnation and scrutiny on-line. Mr. Fiasco, who has condemned homophobia in the hip-hop scene, distanced himself from the video that featured considered one of his hit singles, saying in a statement that he was “presently taking motion.” Jason Kander, a former Democratic secretary of state in Missouri and a former Army intelligence officer, mocked Ms. Gomez in a social media submit on Tuesday.

“So refreshing to see a feminine GOP candidate who by no means served within the army doing the entire veteran cosplay, stolen valor, bigotry as an alternative choice to energy routine in addition to any man,” wrote Mr. Kander, who deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 and has since struggled with signs of post-traumatic stress dysfunction.

But Ms. Gomez’s on-line trolling marketing campaign, rife with homophobia and assaults towards transgender individuals, has additionally earned her the admiration of far-right lawmakers, together with Representative Matt Gaetz, on-line conservative influencers and the expelled former Representative George Santos — who’s himself homosexual.

The jogging video can be not the primary such homophobic stunt from Ms. Gomez, who seems keen to face out as a political newcomer in a crowded Republican major to be Missouri’s high elections official. In February, she posted a video of herself burning L.G.B.T.Q. books with a home made flamethrower. A month later, she stated that nations that ban flamethrowers had been additionally “weak and homosexual,” and has since repeatedly used the homophobic phrase as an insult, wielding it as a marketing campaign slogan.

Ms. Gomez has spent little on the race to this point compared with a few of her better-known opponents, together with Dean Plocher, the speaker of the Missouri House. But her social media posts — which come at a frantic tempo on X — have lifted her profile as she rails towards the state party as corrupt and compromised.

“I converse the reality, and I’m waking up the lions to save lots of America,” Ms. Gomez wrote on social media on Wednesday, in protection of her advert. “Weakness will get us nowhere. The gloves are off, and I’m right here to guard and battle for Missouri.”

Ms. Gomez didn’t reply to a request for touch upon social media.

Ms. Gomez’s remarks stand out not only for their provocative nature, but in addition as a result of they’re one thing of a non sequitur within the race she is operating. A secretary of state is actually a state’s chief bureaucrat, in command of record-keeping and overseeing the state’s elections. Ms. Gomez is a 2020 election denier, and has stated she would abolish voting machines and deploy the National Guard — an authority a secretary of state doesn’t have — to safe elections.


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