Reported by Matt Long, SCRN
Lexington County Senator Jake Knotts’s controversial comments last week have stirred his political rival into action. Less than 24 hours after Senator Jake Knotts called G.O.P. gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley a “raghead,” his opponent from the 2008 race decided the time had come to run again–in 2012. Lexington Republican Katrina Shealy challenged the longtime senator for the party’s nomination two years ago and came within five hundred votes of winning.
Shealy sent out a letter Friday asking for donations to her campaign for the District 23 seat. Her campaign is getting a head start on the 2012 primary.
During an appearance on the online talk show “Pub Politics Live” Knotts said, “We got a raghead in Washington. We don’t need another in the governor’s mansion.” Raghead is a slur that refers to Arabs or Indian Sikhs who wear traditional headdresses. Haley’s parents are from India. Knotts later apologized for the comments saying the slur was unintentional.
Shealy’s release states:
The racially charged comments made by Senator Jake Knotts during Thursday evening’s ‘Pub Politics’ webcast were disrespectful, inappropriate, and have no place in today’s society. I must respectfully disagree with Senator Knotts that his comments regarding President Obama and Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley were simply ‘lost in translation.
In the meantime, the Lexington County Republican Party issued a statement saying, “We vehemently oppose these comments.” Governor Mark Sanford on Friday commented that “there is no place for bigotry” in the Republican Party.