State Sen. Michael Willette, R-Presque Isle, said Wednesday that he has no intention of resigning his seat after apologizing from the Senate floor for a number of offensive Facebook posts about Muslims, immigrants, race and President Obama. Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, has said that the matter is settled, even though Senate Democrats have requested a formal statement against racism and xenophobic comments by their members.

Nonetheless, the Maine Democratic Party is continuing its push to get rid of Willette. On Thursday the party urged its members to a sign a petition calling for the Republican’s resignation.

“It’s simply unbelievable. Maine is making national headlines after Republican State Senator Michael Willette posted a photo to his Facebook page linking President Obama and his family to the extremist terror group ISIS. The post was deplorable, racist, and completely unacceptable,” said Phil Bartlett, chairman Maine Democratic Party, in the petition appeal.

It seems highly unlikely that a Democratic petition drive will convince the Republican to step down. But even if he survives this, it seems likely that Willette’s Facebook posts will be an issue in 2016. After all, he doesn’t exactly hold a safe seat. He narrowly defeated Houlton Democrat Michael Carpenter in 2014 by 232 votes.

Interestingly, many of Willette’s Facebook posts were out in the open for years and at least one Republican privately wondered why the posts didn’t surface as an issue during the 2014 election. Maybe the Democrats’ opposition research team didn’t dig deep enough. Or maybe Willette was instructed to behave during election season. After all, his comment on the post about Obama and ISIS family reunion suggests that he was aware that such comments and memes crossed a line.

“I’ve been good over the past year and a half about not posting things about Obama, but this one was too good to pass up” he wrote. “I promise this will be the last one for some time.”