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. sonny chapman

    His photo matches his caricature; however, he does resemble slightly, another South Carolina pol., John Spratt, who probably knows the ins & outs of the complicated Fed. Budget better than anyone. SOOO, I guess we shouldn't judge a book by its' cover. But man, Knotts is a horrible read.

    June 4, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Glen Shouse Jr.

    While this Republican is spewing racist slurs, the Senate minority leader is more worried about an apology from Paul McCartney for expressing his opinion of the former President who often made up words, and came across as somewhat ignorant. Is that to say that Republican senate is in support of the racist comments made? I hope not.

    June 4, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    And South Carolina takes the lead away from Arizona once again in the racism derby. Makes sense, though: sure, there's plenty of racism in Arizona, but it's a dry racism. Have a nice day!

    June 4, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. Brad

    Go figure . . . Now the GOP bigots are even calling each other nasty names. Sean Hannity and Sarah will soon be out of work!

    June 4, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. Gary

    Just lok at his picture. Fat White. Ignorant. Welcome to South Carolina

    June 4, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Felonious Monk

    The GOP and racism, say it isn't so.
    The Republican party and racism, say it isn't so.

    This is truly a sad statement about America, and it's politics.

    June 4, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. jesse

    This fool should resign. And where is Rep. Boehner, so quick to DEMAND an apology from Paul McCartney for putting President Bush down in a jab, yet he has no concern or objection to this member of his party calling President Obama a "Raghead"! This is just one more example of why Republicans and Boehner in particular have no credibility.

    June 4, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. Pragmatic

    Jake Knotts – looking like Elmer Fudd .... and acting more crazy than a peach-orchard sow every day! These people are making laws & running the government? No wonder people from other states shake their heads and don't linger in SC: Whatever possesses these people might be contagious! Drive, Thelma, drive!

    June 4, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Jon

    This Knotts bigot should be thrown out of office. He's a disgrace.

    June 4, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Ken in NC

    OK, so State Senator Knotts said what he said and he apologized. Fact of the matter is that he said what he ment and ment what he said. Had he not intended to slur the candidate or the President, he would not have said what he said.

    Our culture now is becoming one where people are saying the ugly things they want to say while knowing it will draw attention to them and then they will apologize but they are comfortable in the knowledge that they are now saying what they have always wanted to say. It is a sad time we live in now.

    June 4, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. pierce

    awww, give Knotts a pass on this.

    After all, that is how Knotts was raised in the backwoods. And strangely, Knotts resembles member of the porcine family.

    June 4, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. JES

    You are just a stupid red neck and shouldn't be a Sen.

    June 4, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Bill

    Wow, just look at that big, fat meathead. He is a poster child for southern Republicans. Large, white, dumb and mean.

    June 4, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. Thomas

    This guy Knotts is out of control. Another black eye for all of us who love South Carolina. This is 2010. The Civil War is over and there is no more room or tolerance for bigotry of any kind. It's time to get rid of the "good ole boys" and get some intelligent and honorable people to represent us.

    June 4, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. Chuck T

    Just showing the rest of us what a "True South Carolina Patriot" thinks.

    June 4, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Jaywing

    Better a "raghead' than a "lardhead". Gezz, dude, do something other than sit on your more-than-adequate butt and think up stupid, racist remarks. You're a pox on your state and a clown of a human being. Pull your head out of the 18th century, man. Or, just shut up.

    June 4, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    Sorry, Jesse, but you're a toad. Do us a favor and quit now.

    June 4, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Dano

    It doesn't surprise me that this Boss Hogg wannabe would say something like that. He probably didn't realize that his hateful comments would actually come back to bite him in the ass!

    June 4, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. mine

    the guy even LOOKS like a classic dumb redneck southern "good old boy" politician

    June 4, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. mms55

    that mans no patriot hes an idiot.

    June 4, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. geecee

    What a loathesme slimeball this Jake Knotts guy is. Horrible person to be representing any constituency. Shame on anyone who votes for this slug. What an ugly pig. He should get a job as a conservative talk show host because we need another one just like him, (yeah, right) even though there are a half dozen obnoxious clones of his already doing the job on national radio and t.v. No wonder this country is such a divided mess!!!

    June 4, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. Mary

    Stay classy, South Carolina.

    June 4, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. Who Cares?

    Man...Is he not the perfect example of a South Carlina GOP candidiate?

    June 4, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Gil

    The Party of No members have no sense of values other than winning elections at any cost!

    June 4, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Maude

    Archie Bunker lives on.
    This guy probably likes little boys.

    June 4, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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