NEW: DeLorenzo Leaves Democratic Party Following Comments - and Pressure to Resign
Thursday, October 26, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team
Former Rhode Island Democratic Party Vice-Chair Joe DeLorenzo has left the party.
Democratic Party Chair Joe McNamara made the announcement on Thursday.
"This has been a difficult time in state party politics, when one of our leaders made unacceptably insensitive statements about sexual harassment, dismissing a state representative’s experience and that of many women in our society; this is an issue Democratic leaders have fought to combat,” said McNamara.
"In the aftermath of this, state Party 2nd Vice Chair Joseph DeLorenzo has issued an apology, and today, disaffiliated as a member of the Rhode Island Democratic Party. He is, therefore, not eligible to serve as a member or officer of the Rhode Island Democratic Party State Committee.”
Latest for DeLorenzo
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo called on Delorenzo to step down from his position as 2nd Vice Chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party on October 19.
As GoLocal reported:
A change.org petition was started following comments Delorenzo made regarding the party, including diminishing Democrat Marcia Ranglin-Vassell's defeat of incumbent John DeSimone, calling the party's left-leaning wing "whack-jobs," and demeaning the sexual harassment allegations recently levied by female members of the General Assembly against colleagues.
"Anyone who has the courage to talk about their experience with harassment deserves our support. Efforts to belittle individuals who speak out do nothing except pour fire on the very real problem of workplace sexual harassment and bullying," wrote Raimondo on a Facebook post on Wednesday.
"Joe Delorenzo forfeited his standing as a party leader with his comments that have trivialized and belittled the experiences far too many women have had with harassment. Vice Chair Delorenzo should step down. If he doesn’t, I stand with other Democratic leaders to demand action to remove him from his leadership role with our state party."
Latest for Delorenzo
Rhode Island Democratic Party Chairman Joe McNamara issued the following statement on Wednesday on the recent comments made by Delorenzo.
“I find these comments to be unfortunate, and not in the spirit of the meeting on Sunday, nor the Democratic Party itself. As a Party, we must commit ourselves to inclusion and tolerance whenever we can," said McNamara.
"We will continue to focus on a strong economy that allows everyone who wants a job in our state to get one, ensuring that everyone in our state continues to have access to quality and affordable healthcare, and other substantive issues that Rhode Islanders care about rather than allowing these comments to distract us from the hard work of building a Democratic Party that can continue to rise, organize, and build a stronger future for our state in 2018 and beyond.”