Cris E. Dush
|Member of the Pennsylvania Senate|
from the 25th district
|Assumed office |
January 5, 2021
|Preceded by||Joe Scarnati|
|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives|
from the 66th district
December 1, 2014 – November 30, 2020
|Preceded by||Samuel H. Smith|
|Succeeded by||Brian Smith|
|Born||March 1, 1961|
DuBois, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Residence||Pine Creek Township|
Cris E. Dush is an American politician. A Republican, he has been a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate since 2020, elected from the 25th District. From 2014 to 2020, Dush was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, elected from the 66th House district, which then encompassed Jefferson County and Indiana County.
Education and career before politics
Dush graduated from Brookville Area High School in 1979. He was a member of the U.S. Air Force from 1982 to 1990 and a member of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard from 2000 to 2016. From 1995 until his retirement in January 2012, Dush was employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections as a prison corrections officer.
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Dush was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2014, representing the 66th district. In March 2018, Dush introduced resolutions, co-sponsored by 12 other Republicans state legislators, to impeach four Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices in response to the court's decision in League of Women Voters v. Commonwealth that struck down a Republican-drawn Pennsylvania congressional district map as a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution's requirement of "free and equal" elections. Dush made this proposal after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from Republican legislative leaders in Pennsylvania to block the redrawn congressional map. Dush asserted that the justices' decision constituted "misbehavior in office" and was a judicial infringement on legislative power. The attempt to impeach the justices was denounced by Chief Justice Thomas Saylor, and failed after House Republican Leader David L. Reed decided not to support it.
Pennsylvania State Senate
In November 2019, Dush announced he would not seek a fourth term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, noting a promise he made to only serve three terms when he was first elected in 2014. In January 2020, Dush said he would seek the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania Auditor General, joining a race against two other Republicans seeking the nomination. The next month, however, Dush left that race and announced that he would run for the state Senate instead, for the 25th district seat left open by the retirement of Joe Scarnati. Dush won the race for the seat against Democrat Margie Brown.
In September 2021, Dush chaired a Republican-led committee that approved subpoenas for a wide range of data and personal information on voters.
In 2022, he sponsored legislation to prohibit ballot drop boxes in Pennsylvania elections.
Dush was appointed to chair of the Senate State Government Committee in 2023 by President pro tempore Kim Ward. In that role Dush approved of measures to require voter ID, allow for post-election audits, and require more security for ballot drop boxes.
In 2020, Dush compared Governor Tom Wolf's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania to Nazi Germany. A group of Jewish organizations, including the Philadelphia branch of the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, condemned Dush's Nazi analogy as "offensive and wrong".
2020 election and continuing denial
After the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Dush was one of 26 Pennsylvania House Republicans who called for withdrawing certification of presidential electors, despite Joe Biden winning Pennsylvania by over 80,000 votes with no evidence of fraud. This was also after federal appeals brought by the Trump campaign were dismissed due to lack of evidence. Afterward, Dush traveled to Arizona along with fellow senator Doug Mastriano, and state house member Rob Kauffman, to observe its 2021 Maricopa County presidential ballot audit, which the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors called a "spectacle". The audit was ordered by Arizona's Republican senate majority, the rationale for which was generated by widely discredited conspiracy theories. One firm involved had previously audited the 2020 election in Pennsylvania. The United States Department of Justice warned the audit participants that they may have broken the law in compromising the integrity of those Maricopa County, Arizona ballots. Dush supported efforts for a similar audit to take place in Pennsylvania.
- "The Constitution of Pennsylvania, Art. II § 2". Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
- "Cris Dush Historical Biography". Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
- "Representative Cris Dush". Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
- State Rep. Cris Dush seeks re-election, Jeffersonian Democrat (March 6, 2018).
- Mark Scolforo, GOP plan to impeach 4 Pennsylvania justices remains in limbo, Associated Press (April 21, 2018).
- Sommer, Will (2018-03-20). "Pennsylvania GOP moves to oust judges over gerrymandering decision". The Hill. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
- Barnes, Robert (2018-03-19). "Supreme Court refuses to stop new congressional maps in Pennsylvania". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
- Katie Meyer, Pennsylvania Chief Justice Criticizes Impeachment Moves, NPR (March 22, 2018).
- Caruso, Stephen (November 26, 2019). "Dush announces retirement in 2020; third lawmaker to call it quits this November". Pennsylvania Capital-Star.
- Cassie Miller. Pa. Republican Rep Cris Dush joins race for Auditor General, Pennsylvania Capital-Star (January 22, 2020).
- Joy Norwood, Rep. Dush talks about decision to run for Senate, Jeffersonian Democrat (March 3, 2020).
- "Rep. Dush seeks Scarnati's 25th District Senate seat". Williamsport Sun-Gazette. February 15, 2020.
- "Cris Dush wins PA state senate bid in 25th District". The Punxsutawney Spirit. November 5, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
- "Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers approve wide-ranging subpoenas for personal information of 2020 voters". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-09-16.
- "Pa. Senate passes legislation banning ballot drop boxes, private funding of elections". pennlive. 2022-04-13. Retrieved 2022-04-14.
- Levy, Marc; Cooper, Jonathan J. (January 28, 2023). "2020 election-deniers oversee election policies in Pa., Arizona". PennLIVE Patriot-News. Advance Local Media LLC. The Associated Press. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
- Elizabeth Hardison, The controversy over Lt. Gov. Fetterman's marijuana listening tour, explained, Pennsylvania Capital-Star (April 23, 2019).
- Jacob Perryman, Community speaks out on recreational marijuana legalization, The Courier-Express (Dubois, Pa.) (February 25, 2019).
- Oster, Marcy (2020-05-04). "Pa. lawmaker compares governor to Nazi Germany over coronavirus handling". The Forward. Retrieved 2020-05-05.
- Palmer, Ewan (2020-05-05). "GOP PENNSYLVANIA LAWMAKER COMPARES GOV. TOM WOLF'S HANDLING OF CORONAVIRUS TO THE NAZI PARTY". Newsweek. Retrieved 2020-05-05.
- Murphy, Jan (27 November 2020). "26 Pa. House Republicans call for withdrawing certification of presidential electors". The Patriot-News.
- "Arizona GOP Election Audit Draws More Republican Politicians". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. June 2, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
- Corse, Alexa (May 23, 2021). "The Republican-majority Maricopa County board says the audit ordered by Senate leaders is a mismanaged 'spectacle'". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
- Cooper, Jonathan J.; Christie, Bob (May 10, 2021). "Inside Arizona's election audit, GOP fraud fantasies live on". Associated Press. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
- "Wake Technology Services audited a Pennsylvania election as part of the #StopTheSteal movement". Arizona Mirror. May 21, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
- Epstein, Reid J.; Corasaniti, Nick (May 24, 2021). "Long After Trump's Loss, a Push to Inspect Ballots Persists". Retrieved June 10, 2021 – via NYTimes.com.
- Trump Reportedly Thinks Audits Will Lead To Reinstatement Of Defeated GOP Senators, Forbes Magazine, Andrew Solender, June 3, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
- Giles, Ben (May 6, 2021). "Justice Department: Arizona Senate Audit, Recount May Violate Federal Law". KJZZ. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
- Walker, Carter (March 9, 2023). "Key senator's record has Democrats, voting advocates worried passing reform will be difficult". PennLive Patriot-News. Advance Local Media LLC. Spotlight PA. Retrieved 15 March 2023.