PORTLAND, Ore. — In a room full of religious leaders from across the metro area, Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull apologized for racist posts on social media.
"I accept full responsibility for every word that ever came out of my mouth," he said.
In posts uncovered by a Clackamas County resident with ties to the local democratic party, Shull wrote about Muslims in a derogatory way.
"With humility and sincerity, I ask for the good people of the Muslim community to consider my request for forgiveness."
Shull's apology comes days after an assortment of people, from the county district attorney and local legislators to his own co-commissioners, asked for Shull's resignation. He refused, electing instead to apologize and meet with Muslim leaders.
"I saw eyes where tears had been," said Shull. "I heard voices longing for acceptance and friendship as Americans who love this land."
Shull's words appeared to resonate with the religious leaders he addressed.
"Let us work together to make change," said one man.
"This is the beginning, not an end," added Pastor J.W. Matt Hennessee. "We can't see this as one and done."
Religious leaders pledged to stand alongside an elected leader who is hoping to make amends.
"It is my hope that when I leave this room today I've received your forgiveness and maybe even your friendship," said Shull.
The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners censured Shull last week. He cannot be recalled for six months.