Valentina Gomez may not be known by Missouri voters, but she certainly knows how to attract attention to her campaign for Secretary of State. Earlier this week, she posted a campaign video showing herself lighting LGBT books on fire.
Gomez, appearing with a flamethrower in hand, said in the video posted to various social media platforms, “This is what I will do to the grooming books when I become secretary of state.” The video then cut to her lighting multiple books on fire with the flamethrower before she said, “These books come from a Missouri public library. When I’m in office, they will burn.”
Media outlets like NBC have used the incident to continue false claims Missouri has banned books.
The two books in the video appeared to be “Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens” and “Naked: Not Your Average Sex Encyclopedia.” Marke Bieschke, a coauthor of one of the books reacted to the video on X, writing, “She is burning my book in public to get votes, not fascist or scary at all!”
The video on X had nearly 973,000 views, 987 reposts and more than 3,300 comments as of Wednesday night. The visibility of the post on X was restricted at one point, with a note that it “may violate X’s rules against Hateful Conduct,” NBC News reported. The note appeared to be removed as of Wednesday night.
According to Gomez’s campaign website, she is a real estate investor, financier, strategist and “fierce advocate for the principles values we hold dear as Americans battling for a better future.” She is based in St. Louis and is 24 years old. Gomez’s campaign website lays out multiple visions she has for office, including the protection of children “against the transgender agenda.”
Many, including Republicans, viewed her actions unfavorably, regardless of what they think of LGBT books.
“I’m republican. But burning books is not good,” one person wrote on Instagram. “Make them where you have to be 18 to check them out or look at them. Grooming is bad but burning books only makes people want them more.”
Valencia’s candidacy in the upcoming August Republican primary has some in the party baffled. A native of Colombia, South America, she says she’s a real estate investor, financier and strategist. Her LinkedIn profile states she works for Nestlé Purina North America.
Gomez is among at least four candidates running for the Republican nomination for Missouri secretary of state. She faces Representative Caleb Rowden, Shane Schoeller, former Missouri House Speaker Pro-Tem, and Missouri Representative Adam Schwardron of St. Louis.
The Republican primary for this office will be held on August 6.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice