GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport mom never imagined an email she received from a state lawmaker would ignite a firestorm of controversy.
On March 11, Becky Guidry emailed every Mississippi state representative to ask them to vote against the Taxpayer Pay Raise Act, which would phase out the income and corporate franchise taxes. Guidry believes that money should go to support programs such as education.
The Illinois native got involved in politics - specifically fighting for education funding - when her son Julien started Kindergarten in 2015.
"Karl Oliver isn't in my district, and I don't vote for him, but I do think he represents our state," Guidry said.
However, Guidry never expected the response she received from the Republican representative for District 46, who said in part:
"I was floored. I couldn't believe that here is someone that basically is telling me my opinion doesn't count, and that I should go back to where I came from," said Guidry.
After she posted the exchange on Facebook, social media reacted. In addition to her original post receiving nearly 800 shares, some users went so far as to leave comments and one-star ratings on Oliver's Facebook page.
Guidry, who says the social media comments speak volumes, doesn't plan on replying to Rep. Oliver's email.
"I don't think there's anything I could say that would sway his opinion. Maybe just to let him know that as a representative of the state, he should be more respectful to the people that do reach out to him," said Guidry.
WLOX reached out to Rep. Oliver, who released the following statement: