Georgetown GOP asks Sen. Knotts to resign over racial slur

The Georgetown County Republican Party's executive committee voted tonight to ask Sen. Jake Knotts to resign for referring to President Barack Obama and Nikki Haley, a GOP gubernatorial candidate, as "ragheads" on an Internet show.

"Senator Knotts’ racial epithets have brought shame and disgrace upon himself, his office, the State of South Carolina, and the Republican Party," said the resolution.

The resolution was passed unanimously by the local executive committee, said Chairman Tom Swatzel, with the Georgetown County GOP.

"To sit silently and let a state senator get away with racially charged slurs is not something the county or the state party should do," Swatzel said.

Knotts's charged comments came about a week before the republican primaries on the Internet show Pub Politics.

"We've got a raghead in Washington, we don't need a raghead in the Statehouse," Knotts said. He late apologized, saying the remarks were meant as a joke.

The term is a derogatory reference to people of Middle Eastern or Indian descent.

Haley, who is of Indian descent, will face a run off election June 22 against Gresham Barrett, for a chance to run in November's general election in the South Carolina's governor's race.

Knotts has declined to resign, despite a resolution passed by the Lexington County Republican Party's executive committee.

Knotts made a statement Tuesday before the state senate addressing the call for his resignation:

"If I thought by resigning it would stop the hypocrisy in politics, then I might consider it, but I won't. I am not resigning. I deeply regret the remarks I made and I have already apologized for them, before anyone asked me to. I am sorry that my disgusting remarks have offended some people. In these days and times, anything you say could possibly offend people. I am and will continue to be the Jakie Knotts that I have always been, correcting my mistakes to the point where I don't commit them again and being the least hypocritical member of this legislature."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.