The chairman of the state Democratic Party who abruptly resigned this week reversed himself Saturday and narrowly survived a vote to keep his post, a party official told The Associated Press.
State Democrats were gathering to elect a new chairman when Dan Parker, who was leading the meeting, ruled that his own resignation wasn't yet in effect. Party leaders then called a vote to repeal Parker's ruling, but it failed by less than two votes, so they didn't get a chance to vote on a new chairman, said Kip Tew, a former party chairman who was at the meeting.
The vote signals discord among Democrats heading into an important election year, when Indiana residents will choose a new governor.
Parker, 41, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. In a letter to party leadership Saturday, Parker said: "Party leaders have sked me to remain as chair and fulfill the remainder of our term. Victory next year depends on party unity."
When he announced his resignation Monday, Parker said he was stepping down because the party needed new leadership. He said he thought about stepping down last year, but wanted to try to give Democrats the best chance of winning in 2012 by getting the Democratic State Central Committee in August to endorse former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg in his run for governor and U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly in his run for Senate.
Tew said most of Saturday's meeting was behind closed doors in executive session, and he was only inside for the last half hour when the vote was taken.
Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Wagner confirmed that Parker chaired the meeting and said several candidates said they wanted Parker to remain chairman. Wagner said she did not attend the executive session.