Florida State Sen Frank Artiles resigned today after his racial slur earlier this week

TALLAHASSEE (AP)– The Florida state senator who used a racial slur and vulgar language in a conversation with two African American colleagues is resigning.

Republican Sen. Frank Artiles submitted a resignation letter to the Senate president’s office on Friday, four days after he used the N-word and other vulgarities at a private club near the state Capitol.

He later apologized on the Senate floor.

Democrats were calling for his expulsion, and Republican leadership began an investigation into whether Artiles violated Senate rules.

Artiles said in his resignation letter his actions are now a distraction to his colleagues, the legislative process and Floridians. His resignation is effective immediately.

The letter continued, “To the people of my district and all of Miami-Dade, I am sorry I have let you down and ask for your forgiveness. I am responsible and I am accountable and effective immediately, I am resigning from the Florida state Senate.”

According to a statement released by Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon.

“I applaud and welcome Senator Artiles’ decision to resign today. It was not only the right decision, but the honorable one, for himself and the people of Florida. I take no pleasure in these unfortunate events. But I urge that we learn from them. In our communities, our state, and our country, there should be a message of hope, of tolerance, of unity. We cannot afford the high cost words of divisiveness and cruelty leave in their wake. I wish Senator Artiles the best, and I hope that, upon reflection, he finds consolation in knowing that his actions, today, show the contrition demanded, and the Senate was owed.”

The Miami Herald reported that, after speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Artiles said he would not resign. “If every time a senator made a mistake or someone made a mistake that they were going to resign, we’d have half the Senate gone for whatever reason,” he said to reporters.