Leading Pennsylvania Democrat quits party, cites Catholic faith

How’s this for taking a stand, courtesy Matthew Archbold:

Jo Ann Nardelli has been a Catholic Democrat her entire life. Her father was one before her. And she couldn’t imagine a day where that wouldn’t be true.

But that day was Wednesday of last week.

I read a story about Jo Ann leaving the Democratic Party and was interested because she cited her Catholic faith as the reason.

So I gave her a call. I got her machine and as I was leaving a message she picked up. She said she’d been screening her calls because so many people have been calling to say nasty things to her or just pleading with her to change her mind. But when I called, saying I was with The National Catholic Register she picked up.

She said she figured I wouldn’t be too mean to her.

Nardelli has been the focus of quite the firestorm in Pennsylvania because the thing is that Jo Ann Nardelli isn’t just another Democratic committeewoman. She’s the president and founder of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, she was Vice President of the PA State Women’s Caucus, and was 1st Vice President of the PA State Federation of Democratic Women (she had been in line for the presidency of that organization in 2014). She met with Hillary Clinton,  gave a rosary to Joe Biden, and appeared on the cover of US News and World Report going to Church with then Senate candidate Bob Casey Jr.

Nardelli has always been a pro-life Democrat and felt that there was always room for that position in the party. But she said that for the past few years she’s felt that the party was drifting further and further away from her. She said she never shied away from speaking about her Catholic faith or her pro-life views as a Democrat.

She said that for years she hoped that she could change the party from within, make it more in line with traditional values. “I thought I could make a difference to change our party. It didn’t work,” she said. “I noticed it that it’s been going more and more to the left. This is not my father’s party. I did not leave the party, the party left me.”

In a letter of resignation to the Democratic party, Nardelli cited her Catholic faith.

“I respect all of you and all that I have achieved in the past. Due to personal matters and faith beliefs at this time, it is only fair to resign,” she wrote. “I will miss you all very much as you are all a part of my family; however, it is time to move forward with my life in a direction that is more in line with my faith.”

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