Jo Ann Nardelli, President and founder of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women and a state committeewoman, has left the Democratic Party and joined the GOP, PoliticsPA reports.
“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 in a personal note to friends. “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.”
The reason she left?
Nardelli is pro-life, but the “final straw” that she cited was President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage.
Matt Archbold of the National Catholic Register interviewed Nardelli and has a great write-up on the party switcher. Here’s a little snippet:
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.”
Perhaps Nardelli isn’t alone. The Catholic vote in Pennsylvania is massive, at 32% of the vote. And even John McCain managed to win the Catholic vote in PA back in 2008, a dismal year for the GOP. So I suspect Mitt Romney will do much better, especially with Obama’s HHS mandate alienating Catholics.
Will it be enough to flip Pennsylvania to the Republican column? We’ll see. But either way, I think Pennsylvania will be dead heat. And that means Obama and Biden will have to spend more time and money in the Keystone State. And that’s time and money diverted from Ohio and Florida and other swing states.