April 25, 2012 | By | Posted in General News

Get to know Cris Dush — the man who nearly toppled Smith

Audio inside
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
HARRISBURG — Who is Cris Dush?
It’s likely that few people outside of Jefferson County had heard the name before Tuesday night, and only those who closely follow Pennsylvania state House primary elections are likely to know it now.

Dush nearly made state political history in Tuesday’s primary by unseating Speaker of the House Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, in a race that few were paying attention to until the results rolled in and showed that Dush edged out Smith in Jefferson County, which makes up a majority of the 66th district.
Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, so Dush’s narrow defeat soon will be nothing more than a bit of state political trivia and Smith will continue to represent  the 66th District seat that either he or his father have held since 1969.
PA Independent caught up with Dush, a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard and a retired prison officer, on Wednesday to find out how he nearly pulled off the upset.
A few tidbits:
“The main message for the campaign was what everybody around here is sick of, which is the commonwealth sticking its nose into places where it doesn’t belong in the lives and livelihoods of the people here.”
“Harrisburg has so isolated itself from the wisdom of the people who are out here working on things at the business end….whether it’s the legislature or the bureaucracy down there, they seem to assume that they’ve been imbued with some sort of intelligence that allows them to run a business that they’ve never set foot in, run a school district that they’ve never set foot in, or a township or a borough.”
“I basically started from a dead start. I had no campaign committee, I had nothing until after January 23 when I started getting things going….I had no staff, I had several volunteers. I had about 30 people working for me.”
The full interview is available here, with questions edited out, or in video form below:
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