As noted here previously, there's been talk for awhile now that T.J. Rooney would be stepping down from his post as state Democratic Committee chair. But Rooney hasn't responded to reporter's calls on the subject -- from me, the Allentown Morning Call or the Post-Gazette.
But it's now official: Rooney is indeed vacating the post. The following statement was e-mailed a short time ago. The statement doesn't endorse a potential successor, though Allegheny County chair Jim Burn has said Rooney would be endorsing him as his replacement.
For the past seven and one-half years, I have enjoyed the privilege of serving as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania. I will not be seeking re-election when the State Committee convenes on June 19th.
Serving as a political partner to Governor Ed Rendell has been one of the great honors I have known since entering politics. Our electoral accomplishments in contests from the courthouse to the state house to the White House are a tremendous source of pride for me. The support of Governor Rendell has allowed the Pennsylvania Democratic Party to enjoy one it’s longest winning streaks in decades.
None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the benefit of a great staff. In the decade we have worked together, Mary Isenhour and I have enjoyed bringing about change to build the Pennsylvania Democratic Party to be a relevant force in Pennsylvania politics. Mary and I will continue to work together.
I have and continue to work with many talented people who have gone on to achieve great things in politics across the country. I would like to specifically thank Vivian Guinan and Shannon Bilger, who with good reason, have been with the party since before my arrival. I am tremendously proud of the hard work of all of those that have joined us along the way. It has been gratifying and fulfilling journey.
Ultimately, the Democratic State Committee is an organization whose foundation rests on our committed members. Though their work often goes unnoticed, it is nonetheless the important grassroots support that has strengthened our party beyond measure.
I love Mel Packer!