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Republican candidate's 'weak and gay' campaign ad sparks comedic pushback

Her message? “Don’t be weak and gay.”

In turn, the response on social media was strong and decidedly gay.

Valentina Gomez, one of eight Republican hopefuls in the race to be Missouri’s next secretary of state, on Sunday posted on X a provocative campaign video in which she can be seen jogging along a quiet road in a weighted vest and pink flower-print shorts.

“In America, you can be anything you want,” Gomez can be heard saying, slightly out of breath. “So don’t be weak and gay. Stay f–-ing hard.”

Gomez, a 25-year-old Colombian immigrant and real-estate investor, concludes the video with an image of herself smiling and holding what appears to be an assault rifle. A large American flag is placed to her right, a pickup truck can be seen just behind her and Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” is turned up. (Fiasco appeared to address the ad on Tuesday, writing on X that his team was “currently taking action.”)

The video had nearly 3 million views by Thursday afternoon.

While some of the critical response to the video has been in earnest — including from lesbian tennis superstar Martina Navritilova, who called it “homophobic” — much of it has taken on a mocking tone.

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat and former Army intelligence officer, called Gomez’s post as “veteran cosplay.”

“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,” he wrote Tuesday on X.

Rep. Becca Balint, a Vermont Democrat and an out lesbian, replied to Gomez’s X post on Wednesday, writing, “Not weak, just gay,” coupled with a painted nail emoji.

Gomez’s vest, which she told NBC News was a

Read more on nbcnews.com