Yesterday, Kelly held a press conference to explain the committee's vote to endorse candidate Heather Kass (D-Carrick), who had past social posts showing support for Donald Trump and criticism of Obamacare. At the press conference, Kelly not only defended the committee's votes (which came from committee members in the 36th state House District where Kass is running), but also took the opportunity to criticize Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald (D-Squirrel Hill) for helping "a white male Chris Roland over an African American incumbent Summer Lee" in another race.
“It is unbelievable that the people he would help consciously try to rip up the party," said Kelly at the press conference. "During a crucial presidential election. We are to be united and in solidarity.”
Shortly after condemning Fitzgerald, Kelly also chided candidate Jessica Benham (D-South Side) and Allegheny County Councilor Bethany Hallam (D-Ross).
For Doyle, the comments from Kelly were "troubling and unacceptable."
"It is clear to me and many other leaders and stakeholders in the Democratic Party that the Chair must resign to ensure that Democrats across the county have faith in our Party and remain unified," said Doyle in a statement. "It's time for fresh new leadership and to re-examine our bylaws to ensure we unite our party around our common values in this vitally important election year."
Several other prominent Pittsburgh Democrats have called on the ACDC to examine its endorsement process, even suggesting eliminating it altogether.
Allegheny County Democratic Chair Eileen Kelly’s comments at yesterday’s press conference were troubling and unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/lcKaNaiwg6— Rep. Mike Doyle (@rep_doyle) February 20, 2020
Doyle is the joins other local Democrats in calling for Kelly's resignation. State Sen. Lindsey Williams (D-West View) and state Rep. Austin Davis (D-McKeesport), who also serves as ACDC vice-chair, called for Kelly to step down earlier today. Doyle is the longest-tenured local Democrat to call for Kelly's resignation, having served as a congressman for the Pittsburgh area for more than 25 years.
The ACDC didn't immediately return calls for a request for comment.
Earlier today, the other Democratic congressman from the area also criticized Kelly and her press conference. U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Mt. Lebanon) didn't call for Kelly to resign but hinted that reform withing the committee was needed.
"Yesterday’s press conference was the most recent example of something I’ve seen for some time, which is that our Chairwoman does not seem to have a plan for our party in the most important election of our lives," said Lamb in a statement.
On Tuesday, City Paper discovered more instances of Trump-support within the committee, including the chair of the 24th ward who had a Facebook profile picture of himself wearing a Trump hat with the caption “Trump Train 2020.”
The @AlleghenyDems Chairwoman's attacks on the County Executive & a County Council member yesterday were completely out of line & only hurt the unity we are all striving for within our party. pic.twitter.com/HmHVgSk1xb— Conor Lamb (@ConorLambPA) February 20, 2020
Yesterday, when asked about Trump-support within the committee, Kelly denied that there were any Trump supporters active in the committee and said of the 24th Ward chair: "Well, you have to know this gentleman. He was doing it out of fun.”