Months after electing a new chairman, Maryland’s Republican Party is looking for a new executive director.
In an unexpected move Monday, David Ferguson resigned as executive director of the statewide party, less than two years after he took the job.
Reached by phone Thursday, Ferguson, 27, said it was time to move on to another opportunity that presented itself.
In a letter he sent to the state central committee, he wrote that his resignation was “a personal decision to move on in my professional development to become a better asset for the conservative movement and to help get more Republicans elected across the country.”
Noting the party’s past challenges, Ferguson offered committee members advice and encouragement, including to stand behind newly elected party chairwoman Diana Waterman and GOP leaders in the state and to maintain its grassroots focus.
“I understand your struggle and, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, I encourage you to all hang together or we will all hang separately,” he wrote. “Get organized! Raise money! Support your candidates! Maryland matters and the voters are looking to you for leadership.”
Waterman said Ferguson gave no notice that he was leaving his post, but that while his departure was unexpected, it was amicable.
National Committeeman Louis Pope described Ferguson’s departure as “speedy,” but, unlike Waterman, said it was not an unexpected move.
Pope said he knew Ferguson was looking to move his career forward and that in the past, he had persuaded Ferguson to stay.
Short stints are common among political party staffers, who are in their late 20s, Pope said.
Few make a career as executive director of a statewide party, Waterman said.
At the last Republican National Committee meeting, Ferguson was the third-longest serving executive director, she said.
“David was a very hard worker, he gave 110 percent for the 21 months he was there and had a lot of great ideas,” she said.
Hired in 2011, Ferguson replaced Del. Justin Ready for the job. Ready temporarily served as interim executive director following the departure of Kim Jorns, who left to become executive director of the Michigan Republican Party.
Waterman said Ready (Dist. 5A) of Westminster will help the party as it transitions to a new staff leader.
As of Thursday, the job has not been posted, but the party is hiring.
No time is a good time to lose an employee but with the 2014 primary less than a year a way, there is time for the party to adjust, Waterman said.
“Staff come and go,” she said. “The program is strong and we are really excited about the prospects of 2014 and look forward to a very energetic election season.”