Bear will not seek re-election
State Rep. John Bear, Republican from Lititz, has notified supporters and friends that he will not seek another term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and plans to withdraw his candidacy for re-election from the Pennsylvania Department of State to accept a position with Stevens & Lee as managing director in their Harrisburg and Lancaster offices.
"I want to thank the constituents of the 97th Legislative District for giving me the distinct honor and privilege of representing them in Harrisburg over the past six years. Serving as their state representative has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish together," Bear said.
Since taking office, Rep. Bear has held numerous leadership positions, including being named to Gov. Tom Corbett’s transition team, serving as vice chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee and as vice president of Pennsylvania’s State Public School Building and Higher Educational Facilities Authorities’ Board of Directors.
He was also named delegate to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Executive Committee Task Force on State and Local Taxation of Communications and Electronic Commerce by the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Sam Smith, and was a 2007 Pennsylvania Leadership Academy Fellow and alumnus of the American Swiss Foundation’s Young Leaders Conference, Class of 2008. The Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology also named Bear as the recipient of its 2011 Community Service Award.
He was also known for his proposals to modernize state government operations, his advocacy for reforming Pennsylvania’s labor laws and his willingness to take on tough issues. Working with Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland), Rep. Bear has saved taxpayers more than $587 million, according to a press release issued by his office, and he was recognized by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as one of "10 to watch in 2011," identifying 10 of the most capable state lawmakers.
"This was not an easy decision," Bear said last week, "but my new position provides me and my family with a tremendous career opportunity and allows me to draw upon my vast experiences as a management consultant, legislator and policy leader as I transition back to the role of strategic advisor for innovative solutions to state and local governments."
Prior to being elected to the General Assembly, Rep. Bear worked nine years as a management consultant and project manager for the global professional services firms BearingPoint and KPMG LLP, and held a number of elected offices including councilman for Lititz Borough and was a member of the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee.
"I always planned on being a citizen legislator and never intended to make it a career," Bear said. "Today, I am fulfilling that promise as I head back to the industry that trained me."
Stevens & Lee is a Mid-Atlantic professional services firm comprised of lawyers and consultants that partner with public and private companies and state and local governments to provide full-range legal and consulting services and is among the 200 largest law firms in the nation.
Since Bear’s announcement last week, several Republican candidates have announced their intention to take his place, including Lititz’s Johnathan Humma, a 21-year-old junior at American University who interned for U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey in Washington, D.C. He has also established his own public policy blog, KeystoneLiberty.org, where he advocates for lower taxes, smaller government and free-market solutions for state problems. More BEAR, page A7