PA Lawmaker’s Party Switch Reverberates In His Home County

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HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) — A state senator’s recent defection from the Democratic party shook the Capitol last week and now it’s causing political upheaval in his district.

The chair of the Luzerne County Democratic Party—a longtime supporter of now-Independent Senator John Yudichak—has resigned.

Sen. John Yudichak of Luzerne County speaks with members of the media at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Yudichak was always a moderate Democrat, and he said he left the party because it’s grown too “purist.”

He’ll now caucus with the Republicans.

John Pekarovsky, who headed the Luzerne County Democrats, says he’s not leaving the party, and added that it was a hard decision to leave the organization.

But in a Facebook post, he said he was concerned his close ties to Yudichak might be a point of contention that could tear the party apart.

Pekarovsky serves as treasurer for Yudichak’s campaign committee, and said he’ll continue in that role.

The county party’s will be led by Vice Chair Kathy Bozinski.

In her own Facebook post, she wrote she wasn’t expecting this change — but added she wants to hit the ground running on behalf of “working families, children, older adults, and members of labor.”