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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Guest Post - Michael Wilburt, Candidate for VSSA Board of Directors

My name is George Michael (Mike) Wilburt.  I am a candidate for a seat on the Virginia Shooting Sports Association’s Board of Directors.  I am honored, flattered and humbled that the VSSA membership will be considering my name on their ballots later this month. Those same emotions fill me when I realize I am among the company of strong VSSA board nominees. While I hope to have your support, regardless of the outcome, please rest assured the results of this election will provide strong leadership of your VSSA.

I have been a gun owner and active shooter (primarily handguns) for nearly forty years.  I am a life member of the NRA and a longtime member of VSSA and the Virginia Citizens Defense League where I am the gun show coordinator for the Richmond area.  Like many of our members, I am NRA certified as an instructor and range safety officer. I am a past member of Cavalier Rifle and Pistol, Black Creek, and a have been a member of Colonial Shooting Academy in Richmond since its opening.
In 1999 I retired after 25 years at Circuit City holding positions as store manager, Senior National Buyer and Director of Sales Development.  At my retirement, my wife and I moved from Richmond to North Carolina moving full-time to a weekend house on Lake Gaston we had owned for several years. I immediately re-ignited a lifelong interest and involvement in politics. I wrote a political opinion column for a local paper that also frequently appeared in papers across the state.  I was elected to be the chairman of our county’s Republican Party organization.
Shortly after, I was elected to be the vice chairman of the congressional district GOP which encompassed 23 counties.  I eventually held the chairman’s role of that party organization.  I was a member of the NCGOP central and executive committees. In 2004 I was also elected to be a North Carolina Republican Presidential Elector. I did speech writing for the state party and candidates.  I wrote position papers on the size of government, taxes, national defense, Right to Life, immigration and of course, the Second Amendment. I managed state senate campaigns and served in an advisory role in two congressional campaigns.
In 2008 our youngest daughter informed us that we were going to become grandparents for the first time.  We sold the house on the lake and moved back to Richmond. Politically, however, witnessing the infighting and the “good ol’ boys” nature of the Republican Party of Virginia, I chose to not join the state GOP and have found new energy in being a staunch Constitutional Conservative, not a party tool.
I recently chose to go back to work accepting a part-time job at the very busy Town Police Supply and Gun Shop in North Chesterfield. I am inspired by the optimism of our citizens, law enforcement, first responders and military with whom I interact every day. I absolutely believe freedom loving Virginians understand their responsibility in securing and maintaining personal liberties in this environment of overarching, overbearing and overwhelming government.
The current state of our nation requires all gun owners and non-gun-owning citizens to take a stand in ensuring Americans maintain their God-Given Right of self-determination which cannot be assured without the means to defend one’s self, family, community, and country. I believe organizations like VSSA hold a critical grassroots role in supporting the defense of our liberties.
As distasteful as politics has become, political involvement cannot be ignored and an acute understanding of the mechanics of government and political leadership must be embraced by the leadership of VSSA. I believe my long hands-on experience in politics, and executive management will be an asset to your Virginia Shooting Sports Association.
On a personal note….. I am 65 years old, married to my high school sweetheart, Carolyn, for 45 years.  We have three children (children??) 42, 40, 38, and two incredible grandchildren.  We live in North Chesterfield, Virginia.
Thank you for any consideration.
Very respectfully,
Mike Wilburt

Editor's Note: This space is open for all candidates currently running for the VSSA Board of Directors to introduce themselves to members in a longer format than was allowed in the candidate bios included in the member mailing.  The views expressed are those of the author.

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