Rep. Cris Dush, R-Brookville, reiterated Monday that he will not seek a fourth term in the state House of Representatives when his current two-year term expires in December 2020.
He already had put a self-imposed term limit on himself.
“Many people are aware that I am intending to honor the pledge I made six years ago to only run for three terms in the state House,” Dush said in a news release issued Monday. “It has become apparent, however, that many more have not. In fact, there are some who recently told me they were unaware that I’d made such a commitment.
“The purpose of this announcement is to ensure the citizens of the 66th Legislative District in Jefferson and Indiana counties are aware of the promise that I have made and my intent to honor this pledge. Additionally, because I’ve been asked to reconsider on numerous occasions, it is also to serve as a request to my constituents not to ask me to go back on my word.”
Dush, 58, said numerous people had asked him to reconsider another term after he collected 80 percent of the vote in the election last year and cruised to an easy win over fellow Brookville native Kerith Strano Taylor.
“While I’m flattered and honored by your trust in me,” he said, “I must point out several things beginning with Deuteronomy 23:23, which clearly says, ‘Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.’ In short, I must honor my commitment as made unto God.
“Second, once one sacrifices one’s integrity one cannot get it back. At best, it would take years to restore even the sense in others that one has it.
“To those who say that people will forgive me for going back on my word, my response is this: Those who oppose me will never let you look at me the same way if I do that. On top of everything else that would be wrong with me going back on my word, this would be giving them the ability to say that you are supporting a liar. I will not do that to you either.”
Dush is a U.S. Air Force veteran of eight years and a former member of the Pennsylvania National Guard for 12 more. His territory includes all of Jefferson County and northern Indiana County: the boroughs of Cherry Tree, Ernest, Glen Campbell, Marion Center, Plumville and Smicksburg, along with the townships of Banks, Canoe, East Mahoning, Grant, Green, Montgomery, North Mahoning, Rayne, South Mahoning and West Mahoning.
Dush had some words of advice for his successor: “Whoever holds this seat next must realize they have to be good stewards of the resources you provide,” he said. “The Constitutions of Pennsylvania and the United States are the covenants between all of you (not the government) on how you choose to be governed.
“Government is not sovereign; you, all of you collectively through those sacred documents, are. Those documents are the instructions for the Legislature, the executive and the courts to follow.
“Make certain those who would ask you to rise to any seat of authority are committed to these three imperatives! Having been your servant in this role I can attest you deserve that much. The only way you won’t is if you choose to allow someone to take the seat who won’t commit to these,” Dush said.
“It is with a grateful heart I say, ‘thank you’ to all of you for the opportunity to serve you the past five years and the remaining 12 months in my term. This last year will see me continuing the fight for you until the person you next select takes the seat.”