In a short, tersely worded statement issued immediately after the polls closed on Tuesday, the head of the York County Republican Party resigned.
“I am submitting my resignation as Chair of the York County Republican Committee and the Executive Committee thereof effective immediately,” Jeff Piccola wrote to local party leaders. “Thank you for your attention to this matter.”
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Former Vice Chair Holly Robson Kelley, who will take Piccola's position, confirmed his departure.
"We all certainly look forward to working with all of our committee members to get our Republican candidates over the finish line and get elected in November," Kelley said.
The resignation comes on the heels of a heated dispute between Piccola and state House Rep. Mike Jones, R-York Township, who broke with tradition last week and endorsed challengers to two longtime York County Republicans. Jones ran unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.
Last week, Jones endorsed Wendy Fink, who ran against Stan Saylor in the 94th House District, and Joe D'Orsie, who ran against Keith Gillespie in the 47th House District. With 62 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, Fink held a narrow lead of 2,397 votes to Saylor's 2,134. With about 67 percent of precincts reporting in Gillespie's race, D'Orsie led 2,849 votes to 2,052.
Saylor has served in the legislature since 1993, while Gillespie has served since 2003.
Jones, who has served in the House since 2019, had said it was time for change and Fink and D'Orsie were better choices for conservative voters. "They are conservative citizens who will decline the pension, fight for our country and bring fresh, new conservative voices that Harrisburg desperately needs," Jones said.
In a letter, Piccola said Jones' endorsement was a "shameful act of betrayal" and that he "slapped every member of the York County Republican Committee in the face as we are and have supported both of these fine seasoned legislators."
Piccola requested a vote of the executive committee to censure Jones for the endorsement. Jones said the censure vote failed.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: Jeff Piccola, chairman of York County GOP, resigns