Local Election

Head of conservative PAC won’t challenge York Co. Council chair

The president of a conservative PAC won't launch a primary challenge against the chairman of York County Council.

Paul Anderko, the head of the GPS Conservatives for Action PAC, tells the Herald he won’t run against council chairman Britt Blackwell in his Rock Hill-area district.

Anderko threatened to run against Blackwell at the end of 2015 after Blackwell supported a bond measure that Anderko claimed went around county voters’ stated preferences.

County council approved a $19 million bond issue to pay for a new administration building in downtown York. That project wasn’t included on a $89 million list of construction projects voters approved last November, but council issued a separate bond for the administration building under its own authority alongside the other, voter-approved projects.

The GPS group publicly supported the November referendum campaign, and Anderko argued the addition of the new county headquarters – which he called “Britt’s Taj Mahal” – went over the heads of voters who hadn’t been asked to approve the additional project.

Blackwell voted in favor of the initial bond Dec. 7 along with the rest of York County Council except for Christi Cox. But when Anderko and others spoke out against the bond, council voted to strip the admin building from the bond and send it to the same “study group” that put together the referendum list.

When members of the study group balked at reforming to examine one additional building, council ultimately voted 4-3 in January to pass the bond. This time Blackwell voted against the motion, along with Cox and Michael Johnson, arguing that “it’s worth the minimum delay to maintain the public’s trust.”

Because Blackwell ended up voting against the bond issue, Anderko said he decided against launching a challenge in District 6, centered on the Newport-area, in the Republican primary on June 14.

Bristow Marchant: 803-329-4062, @BristowatHome