This is the transcript for my recent interview with Mike Allers Jr, one of the GOP candidates for Virginia’s 50th House district. I want to thank Mike for taking time to speak with me. A full audio interview can be found below, as well as on podcast providers like Anchor, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.
What made you decide to run for Delegate?
Oh look, I had to I had to jump in as a teacher, I see the dangerous firsthand on what the democratic policies have done to our children, for keeping them home there’s no clear way to get back in school, it’s a travesty. So I felt personally responsible that I had to do more than just teach them how to advocate for them. I’m also the son of a police officer.
And when Lee Carter basically attacked our officers in that incident over the summer, I took great offense to that and thought this is not someone that should be serving in the General Assembly. The third reason, it’s time that the party has young, dynamic voices we need a fighter. Going into 2021 our party needs fighters to take back the House, and I felt like hey, that’s me. So I had to jump in.
When did you first decide to get involved in Virginia politics?
Well, look, I’ve been a political junkie since eight years old, but really since 2012 phone banking for Romney. And then I was an intern in 2013 for Ken Cuccinelli. And then I was a field director on Nick Freitas his first campaign in 2015.
The 50th district is one of the NOVA districts that flipped in 2017 and Democrats held in 2019. Do you think you are the right candidate to flip the seat back to Republican hands?
Absolutely and it comes with look we have to be the party of ideas again. And we have to appeal to new voters that voters of color, voters that are Democrats but perhaps might not like Lee Carter’s message, or the further their party drifts left, they’re gonna want to swing right, and they’re going to need someone to come to the center, and that person is me. I mean look, in 2017, I truly believe that the district went blue, you know, as a reaction to the White House. Now that the Democrats are in charge of the White House that angst might not be there for the Democrats and I think Republicans have a great opportunity to take back the house because we’ve seen how the Democrats are governing, and it’s not going well.
Your opponent would likely be Lee Carter, who, while controversial, is one of the better fundraisers in the House of Delegates. Are you confident you can match his fundraising in what will be a very expensive contest?
I mean absolutely and I think the party should invest in my race because I truly believe this is the race to crack open Northern Virginia to start winning again, quite frankly, however, it’s interesting that a socialist is going to be raking in more capital than, then I am most likely because they’re not going to give that seat up without a fight. Money is important but I do not believe it’s everything. And I’m going to take my message firsthand of the people, because he doesn’t campaign. He’s rarely seen around the community.
You’re a teacher yourself, and education is the first priority listed on your website. What is your plan to change how education is done in the Commonwealth of Virginia?
Well first of all, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we have to lead the nation. Okay and that means we have to completely have a different education system. What we have is not working, especially in the face of the pandemic. Okay this is going to be a huge educational crisis, and we have to get right to the source of the problem that begins with investing in child care and how we do that show is through using our lottery system to solely fund pre K, making that crucial investment at such a young age and alleviating that burden of childcare, which is basically a second mortgage off of working moms and working families is going to be crucial in Virginia leaving the White, leaving the way again.
We also have to get rid of our SOLs. Okay, our, our teaching to the test has become so detrimental and it restricts teachers and it restricts learning in the classroom. And quite frankly, the governor is still going to have the children, take the SOLs in one of the most irregular years that has ever been. And it’s not fair to them. Then finally, we have to start preparing our children for not just for college but for careers for for tech centers for agriculture, for different professions, different professions that you don’t necessarily have to have a college degree. So we have to reimagine education in Virginia we have to start leading.
You also have contributed to Bearing Drift, which is a right leaning news source. Can people be confident that you’ll work for everyone in this district and not just for the Republicans inside it?
Absolutely. I’m going to do what’s best for the people in the 50th. And if, look, if what they want is something that you know isn’t traditionally Republican, that’s okay because I believe in representing all people and I really feel that too many politicians once elected. Will they forget that there’s blue or red members of their district. And I’m going to listen to everybody. I think the 50th has a sense of independence that you know, when traditionally right is swung socialist I think the truth of it is, everyone somewhere in the middle. But we’re definitely an independent district for sure. And I’ll make sure to carry on that spirit once elected.
Do you think the Virginia legislature should become a full time one?
I actually do and here’s why. I think, look, do I absolutely believe in term limits. Absolutely. Do I believe that people should go home and work regular jobs after public service, absolutely. However, what a part time legislative labor legislature has allowed is just having lawyers and really wealthy independent businessmen to represent. And look, there’s plenty of teachers that have gone in to become elected to the House of Delegates however, it’s harder for us because we’re also missing 45 to 60 days of work, as opposed to someone who’s a lawyer or a businessman who can afford to take that time. So, our neighbors to the north and Maryland, they pay like 42,000, a year. I think that’s fair. And I think a full time legislature would allow a more diverse group of candidates, throwing their hat in the ring and standing up for the communities.
Terry McAuliffe is the odds on favorite to become Governor again, but Republicans still have a shot at taking back the House of Delegates. If Republicans retake the majority, but McAuliffe is governor, how would you personally try and work with his administration?
Well, look, I mean, turn McAuliffe has said, you know, that he wants to invest in pre k and that he thinks Virginia needs to pay their teachers more. I agree on those as well. Where we differentiate is how to get those things actually done. I don’t believe taxpayer dollars should be used to bolster teacher pay, or work quite frankly to fund pre K because there’s already funds there and we just need to trim the fat.
There’s plenty of fat to trim. And, you know, for example, Joe, like, like I said the state lottery system could be used to what 100% fund our pre K system, Georgia does it in Tennessee they use their lottery system to fund Community College for all Virginia could do the same without raising taxes. So, can I work with Mr. McAuliffe, absolutely, but we’re going to have some disagreements on how things are paid for, but that’s okay that’s governing.
If Amanda Chase gets the Republican nomination at the upcoming convention, would you endorse her?
Hell no, because number one, she’s not a Republican. You know she’s an independent, so she doesn’t deserve the nomination and number two, I’m going to do me and really focused on the people in my district. And, yeah I mean her policies do not reflect mine. And her comments do not reflect my beliefs. So yeah, she’s not a Republican, and there’s several other Republicans have enough stand behind her as well. So that would be a huge mistake.
What would be the first thing you would propose on the floor as a Delegate if you were elected?
Actually, what we what we talked about fully funding pre K through a lottery system, 100%, that the first thing because here’s the thing, Joe. The earlier we can invest in our children. The earlier, especially if there’s immigrant children coming in we could address language concerns speech concerns sped concerns. We can invest using the lottery system the money’s already there, to fully fund pre K with it.
And that would catch Virginia way up because we have to we have to, you know, remember, pre K was affected by COVID to several pre K centers were shut down the cost keeps going up and up. People have to choose between do I send my kid to childcare do I save for their college, that’s not a choice Virginians should make. So I believe the Republican Party should be the party of education. And I will lead the way forward with that bill.