Full Name: Michael Lewis Van Meter

 

Nick Names: Mike

 

Office Sought: House of Representatives, 11th Congressional District of Virginia

 

Party Affiliation: Republican

 

Campaign Website: https://www.vanmeterforvirginia.com/

Campaign POC: Unavailable.

Phone Number: 571-380-3434

Campaign Email:
vanmeterforvirginia@gmail.com

Structured Interview Request Sent: Multiple times starting January 2024.

Structured Interview Response and Date: Yes, 29 April 2024

Vetting Panel Selected: Pending

Structured Interview Completed: Pending

Biography:

I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida in Political Science in August of 1988. After graduation, I was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy and served 8 years as a helicopter pilot. While on active duty, I earned my Master of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma in Human Relations in 1998. I also served as a Police Officer for the Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, DC prior to entering duty with the FBI on January 3, 1999. I served in the Dallas, Texas Division of the FBI where I investigated various violations and also served as a pilot flying surveillance missions in support of Dallas Division cases.

In August of 2008, I transferred to FBI Headquarters and in June of 2010, transferred to the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia where I taught new FBI Agents Interviewing and Interrogation techniques. I then became an instructor teaching Police Executives at the FBI National Academy beginning in 2011 where I taught Interviewing and Interrogation, Public Speaking, Officer Involved Shootings, and later created a course titled Leading At-Risk Employees. This course focused on understanding alcoholism, prescription drug abuse, PTSD, suicide, and domestic violence as it relates to programs, policies, and procedures for law enforcement agencies. In order to teach these courses, I became an Adjunct Professor for the University of Virginia.

In January of 2017, I transferred to the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, Civil Aviation Security Program. In this capacity, I served as the Program Manager of over 450 Airport Liaison Agents located at federally controlled airports around the United States. I continued to serve as an Employee Assistance Program Counselor and provided presentations regarding alcoholism and recovery nationwide.

In July of 2019, I retired from the FBI after 20 years of dedicated service. I continued with my vision to educate and help the public overcome addiction, remove the stigma associated with addiction, and help those suffering from addiction achieve and maintain sobriety in order to live healthy and productive lives.

I recently completed another Master of Arts degree in Addiction Counseling: Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders from the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies in August of 2022. I currently work full-time as a behavioral therapist at a major hospital in Northern Virginia.

 

Why you? I believe I am uniquely situated to combat the forces that are working to undermine our Constitution, country and our way of life. Based on the jobs and experiences I’ve had throughout a lifetime and I believe that our Creator shapes in order to carry out our purpose on earth for the betterment of our country, community and families. Based on this belief I feel compelled to continue to serve my nation is a leadership role.

What are your priorities? The border, crime, the opioid epidemic, national security, and education.

From website:

Reduce Crime

In the last couple of years our Police and First Responders have been under attack. This has led to an increase of crime across the country, especially violent crime. The communities that have been negatively impacted the most are our minority communities. Defunding and attacking our police are not the answer. What we should be doing is to improve training, increase funding for specialized training units, and look for ways to assist police in not just enforcing laws, but helping and educating our community. My experience in law enforcement as well as the addiction and mental health field give me unique qualifications that very few people have. I will work very hard to make our police and first responders the best in the nation. (Source: https://www.vanmeterforvirginia.com/)

Improve the Economy

The pandemic has been devastating in so many ways, not the least of which has been to our economy. It appears our government has done everything in its power to make our economic recovery more difficult. I will do everything in my power to ensure that Virginians have every opportunity to thrive in an economy that is as free as possible from government interference. We must find ways to reduce taxes and promote economic growth so that every Virginian can enjoy economic growth and prosperity. Virginia must attract and retain as much business as possible so that we can drive opportunities that will help us realize our economic potential. We must never again allow our government to overstep its authority by closing businesses and creating hardships on citizens who are already suffering. (Source: https://www.vanmeterforvirginia.com/)

Educate not Indoctrinate

Education has become a major issue in the last couple of years and is now one of my top priorities. The United States is continuing to fall behind in producing the top technical minds in the world, and this is due to losing our focus on what our public education should be doing in the first place. Our schools should not be used for political indoctrination. Our schools should be the places where our students are learning the foundations that will make them competitive in a global marketplace. Our homes, churches, community groups, and social networks are where our students learn the values of their families and communities. We cannot tolerate a public education system that is producing students that are lacking the fundamentals that will enable them to succeed. (Source: https://www.vanmeterforvirginia.com/)

Protect the 2nd Amendment

Americans have the right to bear arms, this is enshrined in our constitution. I will protect this freedom knowing that those who hurt others should be punished and not law-abiding Virginians. I have long recognized that those who commit crimes with weapons are usually those who have had untreated or ignored psychiatric issues. In Virginia, we already have laws in place designed to prevent felons and people with diagnosed mental illness from purchasing weapons. Creating more laws is not the answer. I will work very hard to ensure that our current laws are enforced, and work just as hard to expand care for those struggling with mental health issues. We must also support our law enforcement officers as they strive to prevent those who should not possess weapons from doing so. (Source: https://www.vanmeterforvirginia.com/)

Endorsements: From 2023 – Gen Bob Wood (American Veterans Vote), Sergio De La Pena, AG Jason Myares.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida in Political Science in August of 1988. 
Master of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma in Human Relations in 1998.
Master of Arts degree in Addiction Counseling: Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders from the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. (Source: https://www.vanmeterforvirginia.com/)

Relevant Employment History: 

Naval Aviator, 8 years
Washington DC Police Officer, 2 years
FBI Agent, 21 years
Addiction Counselor, current employment


Military Experience / Branch / Years of Service / Rank / Type of Discharge:
US Navy/1988-1999/O-3/Honorable

Past Offices Held and Tenure: N/A

Community Service: Active in the recovery community, travel the country speaking at various treatment centers, police groups, and founded several 12-step groups recovery in the DC Metro area.

Leadership Experience: Served as a Naval officer for 8 years; held positions as Division, Maintenance, Admin, System Operations Officer, Command Services Department Head. As a Federal Agent; Supervisory Special Agent, Domestic Terrorism National Program Manager, Instructor (FBI National Academy) teaching leadership courses to Police Executives, National Program Manager for the Civil Aviation Security Program

Personal Strengths: Unshakable determination to persevere in insurmountable odds. I never give up, and always encourage others to reach their maximum potential. A strong commitment to this nation and have committed my life to preserving the Union and remain a beacon of hope and freedom to the world.

What is the most important thing Virginians need to know about you? That I am a Constitutional conservative and will fight daily to uphold and defend the Constitution that I have taken repeated oaths to support.

How would your friends and family describe you? Absolutely committed to preserving and strengthening the United States. Absolutely committed to helping as many people as possible recover from addiction and mental health issues so they can live their best possible lives.
 

What are your thoughts on the Constitution as the Law of the Land? Simple, the Constitution is the law of the land. We need to stop trying to imagine what the Framers thought when we reference it for current laws.

    

What are your thoughts on religious liberty? The Constitution is clear; congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    

What are your thoughts on the preservation of our history? We should be teaching our history, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Erasing uncomfortable parts of it based on current whims is ridiculous.

   

What are your thought on government transparency? There should be 100% transparency in spending and legislation. The notion that our congress passes bills without giving us the time to read them is counter to our republic.

   

What are your thoughts on national defense? We should be preserving peace through strength. Our military should be focusing on their essential functions of national defense, deterrence, and supporting our allies.

   

What are your thoughts on the free enterprise system? The free enterprise system is the best the world has seen. It enables anyone with enough drive, determination and good ideas to thrive. It is the strength of our national survival.

   

What are your thoughts on the protection of the unborn? I believe it is clear in our founding documents. We have the right to life. Barring extenuating circumstances, no child should be murdered in the womb.

   

What are your thoughts on the role the family plays in America? The nuclear family has contributed to our success as a nation in preceding decades. This is why you see socialist/communist groups fighting hard to break up families, replacing parents with the government.

   

What are your thoughts on equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity, as opposed to equal outcomes? Equal rights are for ALL Americans. Every American deserves the right to succeed on their merits. No government entity should ever involve itself in establishing outcomes for people for any reason.

   

What are your thoughts on the 2nd Amendment? The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The Framers put this in the Constitution for a reason, I will uphold this amendment. Every American has the right to hear arms unless they have been convicted of a felony.

  

Additional sources of information on this candidate: 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/vanmeterforvirginia/

PodCast – https://open.spotify.com/show/5YDzzMEejVJ3QGK1XeCsx1

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