By Jim Melwert

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — The chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Committee is stepping down. The move comes amid controversy over published quotes about how the party has handled sexual harassment claims against candidates.

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Marcel Groen says he believes Gov. Tom Wolf should have say on who chairs the party, and he says while he takes responsibility for the quotes in the Inquirer column, he says the quotes were taken of out of context and were inaccurate. He goes on to say they were inartful and lack the clarity he would have liked.

Groen says he disagrees with the governor’s assessment and he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. But he doesn’t want to be a distraction during the upcoming election.

Groen was chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee for nearly 20 years before he was elected chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Committee in 2015.

Reached by email, Wolf’s campaign spokesman says they are not commenting, even to simply confirm whether or not the request came from Wolf.

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Sinceré Harris, executive director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, says, “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 Gov. Wolf, Sen. Casey, and Democrats across the state at all levels.”

 

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