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Far-Right Candidate in Missouri Draws Backlash for Homophobic Video

It was a fringe Republican campaign ad that could be ripe for parody on late-night television, ideal material for a skit on “Saturday Night Live” or the target of a monologue from a bewildered Jon Stewart. Except it was real, and it is hard to imagine how it could be further satirized.

“In America, you can be anything you want,” Valentina Gomez, a 25-year-old Latino immigrant and real estate investor running in the G.O.P. primary for secretary of state in Missouri, says in the video as she jogs through a historic district of St. Louis to the uplifting beats of “The Show Goes On” by Lupe Fiasco.

“So don’t be weak and gay. Stay hard,” she continues, emphasizing her statement with an expletive. The neighborhood where the video was filmed, Soulard, has a significant L.G.B.T. community.

The campaign ad, which Ms. Gomez shared on her social media accounts, then transitions from the video of Ms. Gomez — wearing running shorts and a vest resembling body armor — to a still photo of the candidate in front of a truck and wearing a National Rifle Association hat, with an American flag at her side and a gun in each hand.

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

“So refreshing to see a female GOP candidate who never served in the military doing the whole veteran cosplay, stolen valor, bigotry as a substitute for strength routine as well as any man,”

Read more on nytimes.com