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PA Democratic Party Chairman resigns

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Marcel Groen

HARRISBURG, PA. — The chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party announced his resignation today, after Governor Tom Wolf asked him to step down. Marcel Groen, who took over as chair last October, has been criticized for his response to issues regarding sexual harassment, including allegations against Congressman Pat Meehan.

“I have always believed that the Commonwealth’s Chief Executive should have final say on whom the Chairman of the Party should be. The Governor’s staff informed me that he no longer wants me to serve as Chairman of the Party,” wrote Groen in a statement. “While I have done no wrong and disagree with the Governor’s assessment, I do not wish to be a distraction to a Party that has to rectify gerrymandered maps and elect strong and civically responsible candidates throughout Pennsylvania. As such, I will honor his request and will immediately resign my position as Party Chair.”

In an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, Groen said, “If he was inappropriate, that’s for the people to decide — not for me,” referring to Meehan. He also said, Wolf was “already pissed off at me.”

“We thank Chairman Groen for his long and distinguished service to the Democratic party. We look forward to working with Democratic Committee members to ensure a smooth transition as we move toward November working to elect Governor Wolf, Senator Casey, and Democrats across the state at all levels,” said Sinceré Harris, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

According to his bio, Groen has been involved with Democratic politics for over forty years, including twenty one years as Chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee. Under his leadership, Montgomery County, the third largest county in the Commonwealth went from being a complete Republican stronghold to a solid blue Democratic county. Marcel has served on the Democratic State Committee for 23 years and as a member of the Democratic National Committee since 2000. Marcel has served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and a Super Delegate to the National Convention in 2008, 2012, 2016.

Here is the letter Groen sent to State Committee members:
Groen Resignation Letter