Michael L. Durig is a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates District 92. His name will appear on the ballot on November 7, 2023.
He is running against Democratic candidate Bonita Grace Anthony.
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: Michael L. Durig
Race: Virginia House of Delegates District 92
Biography: I am a musician. I started my career in Dayton, Ohio during the summer of 1979 after I earned my B.S. in Music Education from Wright State University. In 1986 I moved my family to Florida where I worked as a free lance musician until fall of 1991.
I am a veteran. I entered the military service in 1992 as a Navy Bandsman in Naples, Italy and the FLEET FORCES BAND in Norfolk, Virginia until my honorable discharge in 2000.
I was a small business owner. I started a live music contracting business in 1999 hiring local talent for club dates, weddings, receptions, recordings and concerts. I closed it in 2021 due to Covid-19.
I am a teacher. I returned to my career as a public-certified teacher again a month after my separation from the military in 2000. I graduated from Norfolk State University with a Masters in Music degree in 2004. I taught orchestra/elementary music in Portsmouth Public Schools and Virginia Beach City Public Schools and class guitar in Hampton City Schools. I retired in 2019.
I am a husband, father, and grandfather. The men in my family taught me to always protect those who are smaller or weaker and not tolerate bullies on any level. The women in my family taught me to be kind and forgiving. My wife and I have been married 44 years continuing to support and grow together. We currently care for our four grandsons.
Why are you running for this office?
I am running as an option for citizens who cherish the traditional family and support Governor Youngkin’s administration. I am in a position to serve once again and I am determined to stop all governmental infringement of our rights and will insure your tax dollars are spent in a manner consistent with the Virginia Constitution.
What is the most important issue facing Virginia, and what is your position on it?
There are two issues that concern me greatly at this time which, in my opinion, are critical to our safety and future.
First is the flood of illegal immigrants into our area. My maternal grandmother was a naturalized citizen. As a result of the Biden Administration’s policies regarding the southern border and distributing illegal immigrants throughout the country there are estimated between 8 and 10 million illegal immigrants here now. As we don’t have any information on their backgrounds, we could be looking at significant threat to our safety here in the Tidewater. We must identify those who have been dropped in our community to insure our society is secure.
The second is restoring the quality of education with sensible oversight by the local communities. We have seen how local school boards have been infiltrated by “educational experts” who are activists and promote ‘progressive’ programs dictated by the federal government. Currently Big Education publishes much of materials for education and continuing education for teachers with national certification. The Standards of Learning in our Commonwealth need to be addressed. Each community needs direct oversight as to what is taught in their schools, and there are no better advocates for children than their parents and extended family. We need to teach problem solving skills specific to the unique economic structures throughout Virginia. We have seen just how pervasive Big Education can be and the chaos that has ensued in recent news reports from across the Commonwealth. It is time to empower parents and concerned citizens with education again.
What is the top challenge facing your district, and how would you address it?
I will be representing two distinct areas. I worked in Norfolk during the late 1990s and early 200os when the city leadership had a robust plan to encourage Hampton Roads residences to make the city a destination for shopping, dining, and cultural activities rather than just a place to work. The list of activities were endless as many of those citizens, including me, came to Norfolk to celebrate life with the myriad of entertainment venues, quality stores, and fine dining establishments. We have seen that change with incidents of violence.
I have lived in Chesapeake since 1996 just across the river where Ford F 150 pickup trucks were built offering a standard of living similar to the one I grew up in as the son of a tool maker in Dayton, Ohio. Hard working people supporting their families in a shared culture where they manufactured a popular product resulting in a vibrant economy shared by both cities. These people were products of public education that concentrated on reading, writing and arithmetic. They created that society/economy because they mastered those core subjects to continue engage in specialized education as they pursued their passion. I will promote the return to a traditional education model where reading, writing, history/civics and arithmetic are the concentration which will be reinforced by parent and grandparent at home. This will provide the foundation for further education as our economies change and expand.
What is your view on Governor Glen Youngkin’s proposal for a 15-week abortion ban with restrictions?
I would be the last person to advise a woman on this matter. This is a matter for her, her family/friends and her healthcare team. I don’t support abortion as a medical option of convenience. I do support this medical procedure in cases of sexual assault and to save the life of a mother. Governor Youngkin’s proposal parallels the information my wife and I have found on the matter and seems to be a good middle ground. It gives a woman ample time to realize her condition, but early enough to minimize the suffering for the person-to-be. This has always been a medical procedure done in hospitals, it should be covered by healthcare insurance. With this, I believe the need to fund this procedure outside of a full-service hospital would be unnecessary.
How do you feel about the politicization of public education?
The politicization of public education is a function of the centralization of our education system with the creation of the Federal Department of Education in 1979. This has promoted the single expectation where everyone is expected to go to college, acquire a degree and massive debt, but doesn’t guarantee a viable skill in any job market upon graduation. It also destroys the most important aspect of our country, the creative think tank. This is a gathering of individuals with dissimilar backgrounds, education and skillsets tasked to solve a problem. During the Industrial Revolution this was evident as many innovations were created as a result of individuals with wide ranging education and experiences gathered to problem-solved. Our Commonwealth has a diverse population that is being educated by a totalitarian system imposed by the Federal government and we need to recognize the harm it is doing to our localities through our children.
What legislation would you plan to sponsor in your first year?
1) Address the Commonwealth’s education system to support local oversight of educational standards.
2) Review the policies regarding threats posed as a result of foreign nationals suspected of being military assets.
What is your view on unlimited campaign contributions? Should that change?
We need to stop making our elections about yard signs, radio commercials, and endless funding raising. The electorate has seen what happens when they neglect their responsibility to vet the candidates before an election. This has led to those who use the reigns of power for personal gains. I believe this election will be viewed as the moment when our citizens actively engage in their local politics and replace those self-serving officials in government with those who understand the true meaning of service.
How will you still value constituents with whom you disagree with?
We are individuals with a wide variety of idiosyncrasies. Our government was created to allow each individual the opportunity to pursue their passion in a safe and civil culture while addressing issues that we share. We need to value each other again and populate our government with individuals who share this view. This is a function of the think tank concept discussed earlier.
Last session, legislation to help develop an arena in Norfolk was killed with blame behind placed on the un-transparent nature of Norfolk Government. How will you interact with Norfolk City Government to make sure more opportunities aren’t lost?
The charge that Norfolk City Government lacks transparency is troubling. Regarding this project, if it is a viable plan that brings business to Norfolk with measurable benefits to a wide range of citizens, it should be offered to the citizenry for consideration. If something is a good idea, then it should be shared. I am pro growth/pro business and will offer all assistance to both Chesapeake and Norfolk to expand those regional economies with complete plans of good ideas.