South Carolina GOP Censures Controversial State Senator by Gregory Hilton

The Lexington County (SC) Republican Party is tonight voting on a resolution to expel State Senator Jake Knotts from the GOP. The resolution censures Knotts, revokes his party membership and asks him to resign. The Greenville County GOP will be taking up a similar resolution, and it is also pending before the state executive committee.
Knotts referred to gubernatorial frontrunner Nikki Haley as a “raghead.” Her parents are from Punjab in India and she was raised Sikh, but converted to Methodism. Knotts said “We already got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need another raghead in the governor’s mansion.”
South Carolina GOP Vice Chairman Patrick Haddon said “We cannot sit idly by and watch our Party be torn apart by Senator Knotts’ bigotry. This is the harshest penalty the Party can impose, and it is more than justified in this situation. I call on all Republicans who are backing Knotts to withdraw their endorsements.”
Knotts says his remarks on the “Pub Politics” program were taken out of context: “My ‘raghead’ comments about Obama and Haley were intended in jest. Bear in mind that this was a freewheeling, anything-goes radio program that is broadcast from a pub. It is similar to a political version of Saturday Night Live, which is actually where the joke came from. Since my intended humorous context was lost in translation, I apologize. I still believe Ms. Haley is pretending to be someone she is not, much as Obama did, but I apologize to both for an unintended slur.”
Knotts was supporting Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer who came in fourth in the primary. State Rep. Nikki Haley is also from Lexington County. Knotts says if the resolution passes he will not resign from the State Senate. The meeting began at 7 pm tonight and it is open to the public.
UPDATE
By a vote of 25 to 7, the Lexington County Republican Party has just voted to censure Senator Knotts. He has been a member of the General Assembly since 1995 and he did not attend the gathering. He is refusing to resign his seat in the State Senate.

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