York GOP Committee eliminates lone employee before leadership changes

David Weissman
York Dispatch
Alex Shorb, chairman of the York County Republican Committee, speaks at a Scott Wagner campaign tour kickoff at one of Wagner's Penn Waste facilities Monday, July 10, 2017. During the next four to six weeks, Wagner is planning stops across the state to bolster his gubernatorial run. Bill Kalina photo

The York County Republican Committee eliminated its executive director as it prepares for a new chairman next year.

Chairman Alex Shorb said he decided earlier this year that he would not seek a second four-year term as he prepares to start a family because it's too much of a time commitment.

That uncertainty in leadership moving forward was part of the reason the committee terminated the employment of its executive director, Joe Mandrusiak, who was the group's only full-time employee, Shorb said.

"Based on the fact that I will not be running for a second term and the needs of the committee required in this cycle, I came to the conclusion there was not enough work to support a full-time, year-round employee," Shorb wrote in an email to supporters on Dec. 14.

Shorb said he offered Mandrusiak a part-time, hourly position, but he turned the offer down.

Mandrusiak, who had been in the position about five months, said he understands the committee was free to make any decision it wanted regarding his employment, though he thought it was bad timing right before Christmas and without warning.

More:Scott Wagner gets Steve Bannon’s stamp of approval in governor’s race

More:West York Mayor Mauck entering race for state Senate seat

Mandrusiak admitted that politics can be slow during this time of year, but he said there was still plenty of work, primarily fundraising, that kept him busy.

The committee would appear to have a busy year ahead with several contested state Legislature races and Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, vying for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, but Shorb said the organization is actually busier during municipal elections because the candidates vying for state and federal offices tend to have their own staff and raise their own money.

Shorb was elected chairman shortly after Wagner won a special election as a write-in candidate in 2014, and he admits that his victory was in part due to some local Republicans feeling angry about the committee working against Wagner.

Wagner won the write-in campaign after the committee had endorsed Ron Miller to replace longtime Sen. Mike Waugh after he resigned.

"It's about identifying the establishment ... and curtailing some of their power," Shorb said, adding that a similar feeling helped President Donald Trump get elected last year.

In his role as chairman, Shorb said he promoted unity, more voter registrations and non-endorsing primary elections.

Shorb said he will finish his term through June or July — when the committee leadership will reorganize — and plans to remain active in local Republican politics.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.