His quotes were always funny and shockingly honest, making him a darling of the press, but Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo now says he is done with that chapter in his life.
Ardo, whom Rendell once called his "pithy press secretary," has informed the governor's office that he will be retiring after a budget deal is struck and the now 24-day impasse is a not-so-distant memory.
Ardo, 62, said he is leaving because the "physical and emotional toll of the job has caught up with me." The state's budget crisis has only compounded matters. Ardo's blackberry rarely stops buzzing and it's not unusual for him to be fielding phone calls from reporters - or the governor - into the wee hours of the morning.
Plus, he said, his 11-year-old grandson Dylan is coming to live with him. And anyone who knows Ardo at all can easily tell that Dylan is his number one priority and one of the biggest sources of joy in life.
Ardo, who started working for Rendell during his first gubernatorial run, doesn't know what he will do after he leaves, but said it will definitely be less "strenuous" work.
Now, there is one caveat: Ardo hasn't formally penned his letter of resignation yet.
And there are few signs that a solution to the budget deadlock will emerge anytime soon.
The way things are going, Ardo could find himself working well into the fall season.
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