Jordan fired, banned from GOP posts for 2 years
A Sussex GOP leader was ousted Monday as vice-chairwoman by just two votes, after she made statements on Facebook that party leaders lambasted as “anti-Semitic.”
Nelly Jordan, who held the position for about a year, received a vote of no confidence after a tense, two-hour deliberation.
“I’m not anti-Semitic,” she said Monday, arguing that her words had been “changed.”
“After much reflection and thought, I now realize my words were inappropriate. I apologize for raising questions about a people, a faith and a culture whose beliefs span a broad political spectrum,” she said in a Jan. 4 statement. “No matter how heated our collective discourse becomes, it should never cross the line as I did.”
After the vote, Jordan said she looked forward to spending more time with her family.
“I feel I’ve served the party with the best of my ability and the best of my heart,” she said.
The committee will fill Jordan’s position temporarily until the next election.
Narrow vote marks divide in party
The decision indicated a near-middle split within the party, between those who believed Jordan should be able to apologize and move on, and those focused on growing the party for the upcoming election.
“It is absolutely disgusting that, we’re 10 months from the election ... and we’re squabbling over priorities like free speech and what’s best for the party, instead of doing our job which is registering Republicans and mobilizing people and winning the election,” Sussex County Republican Committee Chair Don Petitmermet said following the vote.
Committee member Ed Geniti blamed the news media in part for the issue.
“There were people that took (Jordan’s) words and dramatically interpreted and twisted them, which is what the news media carried further and made it worse than what it is, which is why we’re here today,” he said after the vote.
Dozens show support for GOP leader
Registered Republican Frank Knotts said Jordan’s statements “show poor judgment.”
“For the good of the party she should resign,” Knotts said before the vote. “I want to see our party grow, and nothing she said will help our party grow.”
But dozens of Republicans showed up for Jordan, wearing “I stand with Nelly” signs and criticizing “political correctness.”
Lisa McCulley drove two hours from New Castle County to support Jordan.
“I truly believe her statement — while it was certainly anti-Democrat — it was not anti-Semitic,” she said before the committee met.
Sussex County native Leon Transeau called Jordan a “hard worker,” and said that ousting her over a “single negative remark” would be “horrible.”
“I’d like to see the voting limited to the people who are perfect,” Transeau quipped. “If we were to throw everybody out here who made a racial/ethnic remark, this place would be totally empty. The whole town would be empty.”
Unrepentant Rowe resigns
Jordan’s removal came several weeks after Chris Rowe, the Republican Party’s New Castle chairman, resigned after using the word “faggots” in a Facebook comment.
Rowe, who showed up to support Jordan Monday night, apologized after resigning, per GOP chair Jane Brady’s orders. The state party leader called Rowe’s words “homophobic.”
“I hope those that suffered can accept my apology and permit me to move on with my life,” Rowe wrote in a recent text message to Delaware Online/The News Journal. “The Cancel Culture are now attacking me and causing me hurt.”
Delaware Rabbis and Cantors: “resign immediately.”
JJordan’s post appeared in December.
“Many Jews ‘In Name Only’ lend themselves to be in the hoaks of the pure made up story of impeachment that the Democrats have woven,” reads one passage.
“Fortunately for us, the people that believe that God gave us a brain to think for ourselves can see through the madness these left socialist believers had concocted against a president ... God please have mercy on them, some of the Jewish people are doing today as it was in the times of the Old Testament, go against God’s will even after he had mercy on them.”
Unlike other GOP officials who are appointed, Jordan was elected by the Sussex County GOP executive committee, a body of about 50 people and the same group that voted on her fate.
In a statement Jan. 2, state GOP Chairwoman Jane Brady said Jordan’s words were “hurtful and anti-Semitic.” She said the Delaware Republican Party does not “condone any statements that demean or show disrespect to others,” and that Jordan either had to resign or they would begin the “process to seek her removal.”
“It’s unfortunate that this is becoming such a distraction with so many problems facing the county and facing the state,” said Sussex GOP Chair Don Petitmermet.
Jewish groups pleased
The American Jewish Committee stated in a Tweet Monday night that it was “pleased” with the committee’s decision.
“We trust that the national Republican Party will act swiftly to make clear that one cannot engage in such rhetoric and remain a party official,” the organization stated.
In a statement prior to the vote, the Delaware Rabbis and Cantors called for Jordan to “resign immediately.”
“We are living in a time where anti-Semitic acts are on the rise and proliferating,” the statement reads. “We also know that words lead to actions. In light of these facts, Vice Chair Jordan’s words are particularly dangerous and inflammatory.
“She does not get to define who are Jews ‘in name only’ and who are not. Her words utilize the anti-Semitic trope that Jews secretly control the government. Vice Chair Jordan’s words regarding Jewish complicity in the impeachment process are unacceptable. Such language is beneath the status of her position and cannot be tolerated.”