John Sitka III is a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates District 93. His name will appear on the ballot on November 7, 2023.
He is running against Democratic incumbent Jackie Hope Glass.
10 On Your Side reached out to all of the candidates running in this race with specific questions. The responses below came directly from the candidate and are unedited. If you do not see the candidate listed with a profile, we did not receive one.
Name: John Sitka III
Race: Virginia House of Delegates, District 93
Biography: Dr. John Sitka, a resident of the Norfolk Community since 1979, is no stranger to adversity, poverty, and a life without a guiding father figure. Growing up as the oldest of eight siblings, with four sisters and three brothers, he understands the challenges working families face in the 93rd district of Norfolk.
Having experienced the hardships firsthand, Dr. Sitka is driven by empathy, creativity, and critical thinking to break barriers and build a better future for himself, his family, and all working families in the district. His journey has been one of resilience and determination, as he served in the Navy from 1974, teaching adult education as part of his service duties. After retiring as Chief Quartermaster in 1994, he embarked on a new career as a merchant mariner.
Throughout his career, Dr. Sitka has also been deeply involved in education. From 2004 to 2019, he taught in the Maritime Education field in commercial and community college settings. His commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, as he currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Young Mariners Career Foundation. This foundation provides funding and educational opportunities for workers affected by the maritime industry, helping them pursue careers in the maritime and lifesaving trades.
Dr. Sitka’s educational journey has been one of continuous growth and dedication. He holds a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. These qualifications, combined with his personal experiences, equip him with the empathy and understanding needed to address the diverse needs of the 93rd district.
Why are you running for this office?
I have been a part of the community since 1979. My children went to the Norfolk Public Schools, and now my grandchildren are in the Norfolk Public School system. I had some concerns about the education my grandchildren were receiving. When I ran for School Board in 2022, I discovered that hundreds of other parents and grandparents expressed similar concerns and frustrations. Despite the race’s outcome, I did not give up on my vision and hope for our community and our children’s future.
What is the most important issue facing Virginia, and what is your position on it?
Giving Virginians a bright economic future through business and workforce opportunities.
What it the top challenge facing your district, and how would you address it?
Education and Crime. According to a Community Resource Office, most crimes are committed by individuals between the ages of 14 and 26 years old. The goal is to intercept these individuals by offering alternatives and hope as early as possible. Since many students are not college-bound and remaining in a classroom all day has shown to be less productive, my first piece of legislation is High School Workforce Education.
What is your view on Governor Glen Youngkin’s proposal for a 15-week abortion ban with restrictions?
The Virginia law is quite liberal when it comes to abortion. Changing any part of this law has not been central to my agenda. When asking hundreds of voters about the issue, even the pro-abortionists felt the Governor’s position was that 15 weeks was too long. So, I went online to see if there was a reason for their response. There may be evidence suggesting that the Governor’s proposal may work for most Virginians and pro-abortionists.
CDC records show 15,511 Virginia abortions in 2019 — or 99.4% — occurred at or before the 21st week. Rounded down, that matches Good’s figure. Another way of stating this: 90 of 15,601 abortions in Virginia — or 0.6% — occurred after Youngkin’s potential 20-week fallback position.
Here are the full CDC statistics on the number of 2019 abortions in Virginia based on weeks into pregnancy. Gestation, in this case, was determined by a clinician’s estimate of the date of conception.
Six weeks or less, 7,917, or 50.8%;
Seven to nine weeks, 5,215, or 33.5%;
10 to 13 weeks, 1,938, or 12.4%;
14 to 15 weeks, 121, or 0.8%;
How do you feel about the politicization of public education?
Many School Boards and Special Interests groups with agendas contrary to parents’ requests have brought this politicization upon themselves. There will be push-back when a School Board goes against the wishes of the parents or community standards. Parents want their children to grow up with the best possible education to equip them with the knowledge and mental resources to have a good life. Not holding School Boards accountable for their decisions creates a politicization that would otherwise not exist.
What legislation would you plan to sponsor in your first year?
For decades, Distributive Education (DE) allowed students to go to school half a day, work half a day, and earn credit for graduation, unlike Technical Education (formally known as Vocational Education), which keeps the student in school the entire day.
Implement a Workforce Education Program for High School Students (starting at age 14) where students go to school for a half day, participate in various jobs for the rest of the day, and still gain credit for graduation.
- Fund the Virginia Department of Education to review and implant High School Workforce Programs that will meet a degree or a certification for High School graduation.
- Fund the Virginia Employment Commission to offer tax breaks/credits for those businesses that employ and train Workforce Education Students.
- Provide additional funding for local workforce programs that assist the student in acquiring job training and employment.
- Provided State-funded incentives to students who show up to work promptly, perform satisfactorily, and display a proper attitude as determined by their employer.
What is your view on unlimited campaign contributions? Should that change?
Since most of my campaign has been out of pocket, it would be nice to see the playing field at a bit more level. However, taking a significant contribution (i.e. special interest group) seems to create a distance between the elected official and the constituents. Currently, in Virginia, there is no limit. It may be worth examining similar rules used by the Federal Election Commission.
How will you still value constituents with whom you disagree with?
Dissent is essential to an elected official, especially for accountability and hearing other points of view. It is also helpful when differing point of view offers a reasonable solution.
Last session, legislation to help develop an arena in Norfolk was killed with blame behind placed on the untransparent nature of Norfolk Government. How will you interact with Norfolk City Government to make sure more opportunities aren’t lost?
The 93rd district is the heart of Norfolk. I hope the Norfolk Government will want to work with me in their best interest for our community to bring opportunities to our city. As for transparency, I would like to see complete transparency with the Norfolk Public Schools and School Board by having an outside entity do a Fraud Waste and Abuse Audit.