June 4th, 2010
02:29 PM ET
5 years ago

S.C. Republican draws opponent after 'raghead' remark

South Carolina Sen. Jake Knotts is in hot water over a comment he made about Nikki Haley
South Carolina Sen. Jake Knotts is in hot water over a comment he made about Nikki Haley

(CNN) – South Carolina state Sen. Jake Knotts' use of a racial slur Thursday to describe gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley has drawn him a primary challenger.

Former Lexington County GOP chairwoman Katrina Shealy had already been plotting a run against Knotts in 2012, but she told CNN Friday that Knotts' "raghead" remark prompted her to make a very early entry into the race that won't happen for two years.

State senators serve four year terms in the Palmetto State.

The 2012 Republican primary will be a re-match of the 2008 race for the Columbia-area Senate seat, which Shealy lost in a runoff by a 57 to 42 margin.

"After the episode yesterday, I just kind of went ahead and threw it out there," Shealy told CNN. "The political climate out there is so ugly. I am sick and tired of the negative politics. We need to clean house and start over."

Shealy, an insurance underwriter, had the backing of Gov. Mark Sanford and his small government allies in the 2008 race.


Filed under: 2010 • Nikki Haley • South Carolina
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. jeff

    Sikhs are wonderful people. This behavior is disgraceful. He should be fired.

    June 4, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. billybob 'n NC

    Knott-head, during your campaign rallies, I bet it takes a big sheet to hide your fat ugly a$$! You bigoted creep.

    June 4, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. KJ

    So, will Rep. Boehner demand an apology from this Republican for a comment that was offensive to Ms. Haley and the President?

    June 4, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. HD

    ...doesn't matter who said what, as long as nothing happened pRAGtically. Let Sen.Knotts keep-up his job.

    Afterall, we are in a comphuman age. Forget she-said/he-said. If you are born just to complain anything, well get packed in one State and we will Baby sitting you.

    Remember, American Armies in war zone never complain about the gun battle noizes. Here...you complain about Rag/Rap-head word?!? Stop being obstacle for progress.

    June 4, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. mack spain

    This is a prime example,why the Republican party,does'nt care about diversity,they want more women and minorities,but they keep shameless politicians like this bigot!!!!!!!! WOW!!

    June 4, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Cary

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA – "fat hillbilly", "KKK", somebody else needs their mouth washed out with soap.

    June 4, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Jim Brodie

    Raghead? Just when I thought I've heard every pejoratrive a bigot can hurl, clowns like this one come up with new ones! In the darker recesses of our nation (like SC) it's an art form.

    June 4, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. G

    If this dingbat wins the election it will tell you everything you ever needed to know about South Carolina.

    June 4, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. GonzoinHouston

    If this dingbat wins the election it will tell you everything you ever needed to know about South Carolina.

    June 4, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    NEWSFLASH!!!!!! The repugs are trying not just to write history but to write it as it happens.
    I spoke to somebody in boner's office to ask why boner was not coming out against the racist knotts remark instead of wasting his time on a joke by McCarney.

    I was told that knotts NEVER called President Obama a raghead!!!

    June 4, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Funny he is not one to talk – spitting image of Jabba the Hut mixed with gene pool of Rush Limbaugh.

    June 4, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. $50

    He looks like he could be Rushs' brother!

    June 4, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Sukhvinder Singh

    I never thought I would hear an elected official utter such insults to our people. The Sikh religion was born in India during a time that Mogul emperors continually invaded India with the intent to convert Hindu's into Islam. Our founder defended Hindu's from these invasions, taught universal brotherhood, peace and oneness of God for all people on the planet. We defended the oppressed and fought tyranny. The Moguls of that day are comparable with the Al-Qaeda of today: they regarded Sikhs as infidels then, just as Al-Qaeda does today. This was all happening in India around the time around Christopher Columbus landed on this great continent. Later in our history, in order to distinguish our identity as fighters for justice and peace, our last Guru gave us a 'uniform' , a part of which is the turban that helps differentiate us as followers of the Sikh religion. Since 9/11 we Sikhs in America have suffered loss of life and have had insults hurled at us simply because 'we look like' Bin Laden, by that ignorant but significant fraction of American society. To now have an official call our people a 'rag head' in the light of what we stand for in the world and the supreme sacrifices our Gurus made to preserve our Sikh identity is a hurtful insult. This is not only so to our religion but to all people on earth for whom our Gurus preached universal peace and brotherhood. I sincerely hope that someone can lift this poor man Knotts out of his deep ignorance and bigotry.

    June 4, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Expat American

    Given the party rhetoric of the GOP for the past 2+ years...Knotts comments actually makes him even more of a 'Real American' and even more of a 'Patriot' in many people's eyes....well, should I say many Republican's eyes.

    Knotts looks like just another dime-a-dozen bloated red-faced white trash GOP bigot….He’s not special.

    June 4, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. Doc Holliday

    Funny. Obamo allows a stupid Englishman an opportunity to pop off at the mouth, denigrating a former President and it's "funny." If he had brought Obamo's birth right into question, or Clinton's sexual encounters in the Oval Office with some sort of guttoral remark, they would have mobbed him and stoned him on the spot. The Dems think it's funny, that the Republicans "can't take it". But make one negative comment or remark about gays and liberals, or their collective guilt campaigning, and watch the crying towels come out.

    Ragheads is tame by comparison, what you people bring to the table.
    Only the "10% of us are normal" group making all the noise lately is the baseline pulse of the Democratic Socialist agenda. Don't do as we do, do as we say- right? At least Bush finished two terms. Obamo won't get a second term, he's already lost his support base – they won't be flim-flammed the second time

    June 4, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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