Marilyn Davenport, the California Republican official who stirred up a controversy when she sent out an email depicting President Obama as a chimpanzee, formally apologized last night, the AP reports. "I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior. I say unwise because at the time I received and forwarded the email, I didn't stop to think about the historic implications and other examples of how this could be offensive," she said in an emailed statement.
Davenport, 74, is described by fellow Republicans as "a sweet woman" and "a great lady without a mean bone in her body." Since forwarding the email, which she says she received from a Tea Party member, she has been hiding out in her home with her phone off the hook after receiving threatening calls. Even so, she tells the OC Weekly, "I'm not going to resign. ... My constituents have told me not to resign." The county Republican Party chairman, as well as California's former Republican Party chairman, though pleased with Davenport's apology, are still calling for her to step down.