Sen. Bob Mensch Plans His Retirement for 2023
HARRISBURG PA – State Sen. Robert – “call me Bob” – Mensch, who has served in elective public office since 2003 and as the 24th District’s senator since 2009, said Thursday (Oct. 14, 2021) he planned to retire in two years, at the end of his current term in 2023. Now age 76, Mensch said he wanted to spend more time on leisure activities, and with family members and friends.
Mensch chose to make his announcement, he said, well ahead of the date so potential candidates who hope to succeed him have plenty of time to campaign and have voters make their choices. Besides that, he added, the lengthy work of legislative sessions are taking their toll. Despite his love for the job, and his delight in serving constituents, Mensch said he’d prefer to avoid more 80-hour weeks.
Mensch is a Pennsburg native and former sales director or manager for several regional companies. He began his elective political career serving as a Marlborough Township supervisor from 2003-2005, and was elected chair of the Board of Supervisors in 2005. He then served another three years as state representative to the 147th Legislative District, and in 2009 won his senate seat in a special election.
As a state representative, Mensch was selected and appointed by the Speaker of the House to the Children’s Trust Fund Board, the Speaker’s Task Force on Crime and Violence, the Commonwealth Debt Task Force, the Energy Task Force, and the Select Committee on Information Security.
Of his tenure in the House, Mensch said he was most proud of helping to preserve hazardous waste clean-up budget funding that later benefited New Hanover, Gilbertsville, and Upper Hanover. He also was a supporter of permanent tax credits for volunteer emergency responders, which he said stemmed from his work in board positions for the Upper Perkiomen Valley Ambulance Association.
In the Senate, Mensch serves on its Health and Human Services, Appropriations, Communications and Technology; Community, Economic, and Recreational Development; Labor and Industry; and Legislative Budget and Finance committees.
His leadership skills were recognized by Republican colleagues, who in 2020 chose him to serve as majority caucus chair. He also is vice chair of Health and Human Services, and co-chairs several senate bipartisan caucuses: Life Science, Economy, Business and Jobs; and Community Colleges.
His Senate accomplishments to date, Mensch said, include efforts to expand insurance and mammography coverage for breast cancer screening; to ensure Pennsylvania was the first state to fully implement performance-based budgeting for 26 departments and agencies, and the 28 tax credit programs they administer; and to enable dynamic cash flow modeling with budgets to determine the multi-year effects of budget line-item increases.
Mensch said he will miss working with constituents and attending events in district communities as their senator, but added it’s unlikely he’ll feel badly about leaving 12-to-16-hour workdays behind. He hopes to do some traveling to a bucket list of places yet to be seen, and he intends to continue music performances with the Red Hill Band, the group Swing Shift, and others.
Harrisburg photo by The Posts; Mensch photo provided by his office