Michael Durant seeks GOP nomination for Pct. 4 Bastrop County commissioner

·3 min read
Michael Durant is seeking the GOP nomination for Pct. 4 county commissioner.
Michael Durant is seeking the GOP nomination for Pct. 4 county commissioner.

Michael Durant, a Elgin business owner and entrepreneur, has announced his bid for Precinct 4 Bastrop County commissioner on the GOP ticket.

Durant owns Smith Durant, a business consulting company, and is the CEO of Creating Genius, a branding agency. He’s seeking to succeed Donna Snowden, who is not running for reelection.

Boosting Bastrop County’s businesses, Durant said, would be at the forefront of his priorities as a county commissioner.

“I thought I’d never want to get into politics,” said Durant, who has been in the business industry more than 20 years. “But I started noticing that there are people making decisions for us that didn’t always have the best interests of those that they were supposed to be representing.”

And looking into the county’s budget would be the first step.

“Coming in as commissioner, I would say the first job is making sure we have strong infrastructure," he said. "Making sure we can streamline our budget and looking to make sure that we don’t have any waste. A lot of times, I went through the budget and I saw allocations, and sometimes just because it’s in the budget doesn't mean it’s always the best way to do it.”

Evaluating businesses' budgets, afterall, is what he does for Smith Durant.

“That’s what I do for a living for companies, I help them find that leakage and make sure they’re doing right with it,” he said.

Durant moved to Bastrop in 2020, and said that he “immediately fell in love with the community, got involved with different organizations, quickly joined the chamber and made a lot of friends, and realized that there was a lot of growth coming to Bastrop.”

The county is growing at a faster rate than ever before, which Durant said is all the more reason the county needs someone with a background in the business industry to facilitate that growth.

“We know growth is here, but the truth is, we don’t know how to navigate it,” he said. “The faster we grow, the easier it is for things to start nursing at the seams, and then you realize you’re paying damage control over being productive with it.”

This is why Durant would prioritize quality infrastructure.

“The biggest thing I want to focus on is being fiscally responsible with our taxpayers' money,” he said. “Really making sure that we have quality infrastructure, over just doing a whole lot of building and having to come back and repeat. And so quality is a big one for me.”

Durant is also hoping to raise funding for law enforcement.

“We have a lot of law enforcement that is coming here to be trained and they leave because they don’t have the right funding,” he said. “I’m a big advocate for making sure they’re trained. A lot of people want to defund and now you see that big trend that everyone is now realizing that’s not the smartest thing. We just need to train and make sure they’re paid well enough that they can do the job right.”

Durant said he would make sure to preserve the county’s “small town feel.”

“I really support our local businesses,” he said. “I know how to bring people together, that’s what I’ve done pretty much all of my life. I bring people to the table and hash out a plan, and I really think as Bastrop County, we need a true plan.

“As this growth is happening, what do we truly want to see as our end goal? I'm the candidate that can truly help see that that's what I do every day for businesses, and I definitely think I can do it for the county.”

Durant is running against David Glass and Darren Mogonye for the Republican nomination for Pct. 4 commissioner. The primary winner will then face off in the November general election against Cheryl Reese, the only Democrat running for the Pct. 4 seat.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Election: Michael Durant files GOP bid for Bastrop County commissioner

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