The Department of Education issued an ultimatum to public school teacher Dave Cruz, who also is a retired Air Force colonel and candidate for lieutenant governor: withdraw from the race for lieutenant governor, resign as a teacher, or face termination.
“I’m not withdrawing from the race, and I find it highly suspect that all this is happening just days before the filing deadline,” Cruz said. “And I’m not resigning either. I’m not going to walk away from my students. I made a commitment that I’d stay in the classroom until we take office in January. So if I’m to be taken out of the classroom, it won’t be because I chose to.”
The campaign believes that Superintendent Jon Fernandez, on advice from the Attorney General’s Office, will fire Cruz for no other reason than Cruz’s political affiliation.
“DOE and the AG knew from the start that Dave was changing his employment status so that he could legally remain a teacher while running for public office,” Dennis said. “Even the Governor’s Office was aware of this back in February, which is why Jadeen Tuncap put the contract over our heads as ransom for my support of the governor’s tax bill. We took the steps to see to it that everything was legit, and we didn't hide anything from anyone. So for these same entities to come back and tell Dave something different, it tells you that this ultimatum is being given for nothing else but political considerations.”
Dennis and Dave are running a campaign based on three main pillars, the first among them being the fight against corruption. From the start of their campaign, many political forces have tried to tear this team down and prevent their run for Adelup.
“They want me to resign, not because I’m a bad teacher, but because of politics,” Dave said. “I’m not going to give up on my students just for politics. If I do that, it makes me no better than our opponents. The reason I’m running is to make a difference and get rid of these kinds of antics.”
If DOE terminates Cruz’s contract for political reasons, Dave wants his students to know when he and Dennis win the election, although he won’t be in front of them in the classroom, he will be their number one advocate from Adelup.
“Others have turned on this man, but Lena and I won’t,” Dennis said. “Today he had the opportunity to turn on us for the $124,000 annual pay he was getting, and he didn’t choose the money. He chose public service. He chose to run in this campaign. We are forever grateful for him and Jenny and the sacrifices they’re willing to make for the people of Guam.”