Lexington County, SC (WLTX) - The Lexington County Republican Party has voted to censure State Senator Jake Knotts over his remarks calling GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Nikki Haley and President Barack Obama ragheads.
The party passed the resolution by a 25-7 vote Thursday night at a special meeting. Knotts was not present for the event.
Even though the vote was not close, there was tension in the meeting between those in favor of the resolution and those who supported Knotts.
On June 3, Knotts said during a broadcast of the online talk show "Pub Politics" that quote, "we already have a raghead in the White House, we don't need a raghead in the Governor's mansion."
Previous Coverage: Knotts Makes Raghead Comments on Radio Show
"Raghead" is an ethic slur for someone who is Indian or Middle Eastern who wears a headdress for religious reasons. Haley's parents immigrated from India.
Knotts also questioned her religion in comments made to a newspaper reporter, suggesting she wasn't a Christian. Haley has said before that she is a practicing Methodist.
Haley and Knotts both live in Lexington County. Haley has represented the county in the South Carolina House since 2005, while Knotts has been a member of the General Assembly since 1995.
U.S. Representive Joe Wilson, whose House District Represents all of Lexington County, issued the following statement:
"As a member of Congress representing the Second District of South Carolina, I was hurt and disgusted to hear Senator Jake Knotts direct such offensive slurs at a community which is very close to me.
"Senator Knotts did not reflect the values of our citizens in his language or in the tone of his remarks and certainly did not reflect mine. Having served as the chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, I know first hand how hurtful his remarks personally were to so many of our fellow citizens.
"I believe Senator Knotts still owes an apology to the people at which the slurs were directed. Our Party must focus on issues like creating jobs and cutting taxes; and providing a positive vision for the future of our state and country."
Earlier in the day, the Greenville County Republican Party Chairman said he would introduce a resolution to force Knotts from the Republican Party. Related Story: Greenville GOP Chairman Wants Knotts Out