One day after "rag-head" comments, Knotts has first 2012 opponent

LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - One day after calling President Obama and South Carolina gubernatorial candidate, Nikki Haley, "rag-heads," State Senator Jake Knotts picked up a challenger in the 2012 election.

Former Lexington County GOP Chair, Katrina Shealy, announced Friday she's running against Knotts in 2012.

"We have seen in the last few days what is wrong with politics in Lexington County & SC Politics.  I want to announce now that I will be running for Senate District Seat 23 in the next election in 2012.  Stay tuned for more information," Shealy wrote on her Facebook page Friday.

Shealy and Knotts squared off in 2008 for the same Lexington County senate seat. In a runoff, Knotts won with 57% of the vote.

On Thursday's Pub Politics Live show, Sen. Jake Knotts (R-Lexington) said, "we already got one rag-head in the White House, we don't need a rag-head in the governor's mansion," in reference to fellow Republican Nikki Haley's campaign for governor.

Knotts later apologized.  "My 'rag-head' comments about Obama and Haley were intended in jest," Knotts said in a statement. "Bear in mind that this is a freewheeling, anything-goes Internet radio show that is broadcast from a pub. It's like [the] local political version of Saturday Night Live, which is actually where the joke came from."

Shealy is a former board member for the Lexington County Department of Social Services and a former member of the Board of Girl Scouts of Congaree.  She has worked in the insurance industry for 35 years, 25 of them as an underwriter related to the forestry industry.

Knotts served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1995-2002.  He has held the District 23 seat since April of 2002.  He currently serves on multiple committees including the Judiciary and Rules committees.

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