Orange County GOP Central Committee member Marilyn Davenport, who has come under fire for sending out an email depicting President Barack Obama's face on the body of a baby chimpanzee, announced at a news conference just moments ago that she will not resign.
"I humbly receive your rebuke," Davenport said, and again apologized for sending the email.
Republican leaders' calls for her resignation.
"I am getting comments from my constituents saying 'please do not resign,' and out of respect for my constituents, I will remain in office," Davenport said at the news conference outside her Fullerton home.
Davenport read the written apology she issued earlier this week, and went on to say she did not intend to offend anyone by forwarding the email. She noted, however, that she didn't send the email to some people who she thought she might be offended.
"I felt they might just not like it too well and might be a little offended about it so I didn't step on that feeling of theirs,'' she said.
"Those who would be offended would be those who perhaps would be of another race or in some cases that aren't black or brown or any other, some of my own race would be offended,'' she said.
"To the president, I would say absolutely it was inappropriate. It was inappropriate, and as I say, I would not do that again. As I said before, it struck me as just political satire. It's been around, I guess it's been around many times, but it was an unwise thing, a very unwise thing.
"The email included a picture with Obama's face superimposed over a baby chimp's face with the caption, "Now you know why -- No birth certificate!'' Davenport said she felt it was just "political satire.''
"I thought that's all it was,'' she said.
Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh said Monday he immediately scolded Davenport for sending the email.
"I was shocked. I took offense to it and I immediately replied to her email that this is dripping with racism. Don't send email like this,'' Baugh told City News Service. "I was the first to ask her to resign and she's resisted that.''
Frank Barbaro, chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party, echoed the call for Davenport to resign.
"Ms. Davenport should do the right thing and resign her leadership position with the Republican Party to spare Orange County from further embarrassment and to send a message that she truly understands the harm she has caused and that the Republican Party does not support racism in any form,'' Barbaro said.
Republican leaders have called for her resignation. Davenport was concerned about safety, so the news conference was not announced to the public.
—City News Service