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GOP official apologizes for email picturing Obama as a chimpanzee but refuses to resign

April 20, 2011 |  1:34 pm

An Orange County Republican Party official who sent an email that included President Obama's face superimposed on that of a chimpanzee with the words "Now you know why — No birth certificate!" issued an apology Wednesday but said she will not resign.

At a news conference, Marilyn Davenport, an elected member of the party's central committee, said it was "unwise" to send the email and didn't realize how much it would offend people. When pressed by a reporter, she said the apology was to anyone who was offended as well as to President Obama himself.

But she said she will not step down from her party position, as some officials have requested. She said she's heard from many Orange County Republicans to stay put.

"Out of respect for my constituents, I will remain in office," she said at the news conference, which was broadcast live on KTLA News.

County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh has called for Davenport to resign. 

Baugh said he received the email Friday afternoon and quickly responded with an email telling Davenport it was "dripping with racism and is in very poor taste." He said the issue should be referred to the Orange County GOP's ethics committee.

At the news conference, Davenport said she “offended the black people” and that "I humbly receive your rebuke.''


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Photo: With her husband, Dick Davenport, right, at her side, Orange County GOP Central Committee member Marilyn Davenport at her Fullerton home Wednesday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times