Blog Post

Catholic Lawmaker Says Faith Forced Her to Quit Democratic Party

Citing reasons of faith, a state committeewoman and prominent female voice in Pennsylvania politics has decided to switch her political affiliation from Democrat to GOP, citing her Catholic faith and President Obama's recent endorsement of same-sex marriage as the reason for the switch.

The Daily Caller is reporting that Jo Ann Nardelli, who has been a Democrat for 40 years, held a press conference last week during which she announced her intention to switch parties and to endorse GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

“As the Democratic Party has taken the stand for same-sex marriage, then I must make a stand on my faith that marriage is between a man and a woman. God’s principles for life never change. His guidelines, given in Scripture, produce fruitful lives when you follow them,” Nardelli said according to the Altoona Mirror.

Nardelli had quite a resume with the Democratic party in the keystone state. The president and founder of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, she also served as Vice President of the PA State Women’s Caucus. Elected the first Vice President of the PA State Federation of Democratic Women, she was in line to take over the presidency of that organization in 2014.

In her letter of resignation to the party, Nardelli was frank and honest.

“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.”

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Nardelli said she'd been receiving many nasty calls and only agreed to speak with them because she knew they wouldn't be hateful.

Nardelli, who met with Hillary Clinton, gave a rosary to Joe Biden and appeared on the cover of US News and World Report going to Mass with then Senate candidate Bob Casey, Jr., admitted that the Democratic party was simply drifting too far away from her values. Even though she never shied away from speaking about her Catholic faith or professing her pro-life views as a Democrat, she gave up hoping to change the party from within.

“I thought I could make a difference to change our party. It didn’t work,” she said. “I noticed that it’s been going more and more to the left. This is not my father’s party."

She added: "I did not leave the party; the party left me.”

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