Criswell Not Seeking Re-Election

On December 26th 2014, I sat down with my wife, Julie, and discussed my thoughts with her about running for the Mississippi legislature. I had never been elected to any position and was definitely a novice at politics. I didn’t know how to run a campaign, how to raise money or even how much money I needed to raise. I wasn’t even 100% sure when the legislature was in session. But I did know that I felt the need to get involved because I felt our nation and our state were headed in the wrong direction.

That same year, I became a grandfather, and as many of you know, that seems to make you think more about the future than any other life event, because all of a sudden, there is someone you love and care about that needs a future where they can excel and be free.

Julie was not thrilled with the idea, especially when I explained it would require I use all of my vacation from my real job during the months the legislature was in session. But after a lengthy discussion, we made the decision to start the campaign.

I took $2,000 out of our savings account, printed up some signs and a couple hundred cards to hand out and off I went to give speeches. Running against an incumbent Republican was not popular amongst the party faithful, but luckily, most voters don’t care as much about the etiquette of party politics as they care about electing someone who will represent their principles and values in government.

After 8 months of campaigning, which included knocking on over 3,500 doors, sending out mailers and giving speeches, I had spent well over the original amount but I was elected to represent the people of Olive Branch.

The real education began then when I was sworn in on the first Tuesday of January 2016 and became Representative Dana Criswell.

After now serving 8 years, I am proud of my accomplishments in the Mississippi legislature. I believe I have maintained the principles on which I campaigned even when pressured by local politicians who seem to desire more and more of the people’s money and have almost no principles. I have never sold my vote for a position or for a donation from a lobbyist. I have withstood the ridicule of leadership because I refused to go along with their agenda to promote themselves at the expense of the people of Mississippi and I am satisfied that I have done this job and represented the people of District 6 to the best of my abilities.

I originally promised Julie that if elected I would serve one term and go home. But somewhere along the way I felt the need to serve a second term, so with some reluctance, Julie agreed and off I went to serve another 4 years.

Now that I have reached the conclusion of my second term, I know it is time for me to move on. I have never believed serving in politics should be a lifetime job. I don’t celebrate those in the legislature who have been there 20 or 30 years.

I am thankful to my wife and the people of District 6 who allowed me an opportunity to do my duty and represent their conservative values in the Mississippi legislature.

If you are like me and want to make a difference to our state and country, I encourage you to consider running. Pray about what God may have you do, and how you can be a part of saving our State and Nation. Signing up to run for office is an easy process, but the deadline to do so is running out with just a few weeks left before the deadline. 

Whoever steps up to replace me, I wish them well and encourage them to withstand the pressures to represent the political class instead of the people.

I am always available if I can be of service.