The 2014 race for the 2nd Congressional District hasn’t even really gotten started and it’s already getting nasty.
In the latest dustup on social media, someone created a phony Facebook account late last month targeting state Rep. Marilinda Garcia, R-Salem, the latest candidate to enter the race.
The site described Garcia as “a severe conservative” and offered a single picture of her at a recent graduation. When created on Nov. 25, the phantom host posted two quotes from Adolf Hitler and attributed them to Garcia.
One stated, "'Do not compare yourself to others. If you do so, you are insulting yourself’ --- Words to live by!” The second said, “On foreign policy I believe my platform is best summed up by these words ‘If freedom is short of weapons, we must compensate with willpower.’”
At around 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, Garcia took to Twitter and attacked to site, saying, “There is a fake Marilinda Garcia Facebook page that is a hoax and not affiliated with me or my campaign. I ask it be taken down immediately.”
By 5:30 p.m., the site was taken down.
Brad Stevens, a campaign spokesman for Garcia, called the “crude fake social media account” a disappointment in the candidate’s early campaign.
"Marilinda hasn't been an announced candidate for Congress a full two weeks and she has already been the subject of multiple personal attacks,” he said in an email. “But Marilinda knows the struggles facing New Hampshire families of losing health insurance due to ObamaCare regulations, sluggish job growth and burdensome debt are the real issues that need to be front-and-center in this campaign and not dirty political attacks."
The effort to discredit Garcia on Facebook had not gained a lot of traction during its 12 days in existence. Only six people had liked the site before it was taken down and only radio host Richard Girard of Girard at Large in Manchester used the site to tag the candidate in a post two days ago.
Garcia is running for the Republican nomination along with former state Sen. Gary Lambert, R-Nashua, in an effort to unseat U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-NH.
Previously, Garcia was targeted by state Rep. Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, who compared the candidate to Kim Kardashian, and called her a political “lightweight,” drawing criticism from New Hampshire Republicans. Sullivan later offered an apology – to Kardashian.
This isn’t the first time that Hitler has entered the New Hampshire political scene in recent years.
State Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, R-Manchester, used a Nazi salute during an interaction with William O’Brien, D-Mont Vernon, from the House floor last year. He later apologized for the outburst. A few days later, O’Brien was portrayed in a Concord Monitor, editorial cartoon as having a Hitler mustache.