WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Mark Alan Siegel, chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party, resigned Friday afternoon, two days after he made a remark to a conservative website that Christians wanted to see Jews "slaughtered," said Brannon Jordan, communications director for the Florida Democratic Party.
Jordan said the state's Chairman, Rod Smith, appointed Terrie Rizzo as the new chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party. Rizzo had been the vice chairman of the county party.
Neither Rizzo nor Siegel returned phone calls on Friday.
The controversy erupted on Wednesday during the Democratic National Convention. Siegel, an attorney, told a reporter with the conservative Patriot Update website that "I'm Jewish. I'm not a fan of any religion other than Judaism." When asked if he's not a fan of Christianity, Siegel responded, "No, I'm not. The Christians just want us to be there so we can be slaughtered and converted and bring on the second coming of Jesus Christ."
State Rep. Joseph Abruzzo was among local Democrats who had called for Siegel to resign. He told WPTV Friday evening that he was pleased that Siegel had resigned and that Siegel "did the right thing." He added that "now we can move forward and talk about the issues important to the people of Palm Beach County. We have an excellent leader in our new Chair Terrie Rizzo."
Siegel had apologized on Thursday but refused to resign, opting instead to take a leave of absence.