WATCH: Mike Durant talks campaign for Alabama Senate seat

by: Peter Curi

Posted: Jan 14, 2022 / 08:35 AM CST

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Mike Durant, a Huntsville businessman, joined CBS 42 Morning News to discuss the latest surrounding his Senate campaign.

Durant seeks to take over Richard Shelby’s seat, as Shelby announced in February that he will not be seeking another term in 2022.

Mike Durant is most known for his time as a prisoner of war in Somalia in 1993. The crash, his capture, and his eventual rescue were re-enacted in the 2001 movie “Black Hawk Down.”

Since leaving the military, Durant started his own business in Huntsville. In 2003, he wrote “In the Company of Heroes” about his military service and his operation in Somalia. 

During his Senate announcement, Durant said the overreach of the Biden administration, specifically with the recent vaccine mandate, helped seal his decision to run.

“Pro-life, pro Trump, America first, let’s get rid of big government, lower taxes, less regulation. All the things that I think resonate with the vast majority of the people of Alabama,” Durant said.

CBS 42 political analyst Steve Flowers said that with a crowded field vying for the Senate seat left by Richard Shelby, Durant faces an uphill battle. Others running for the seat include former Shelby staffer Katie Britt, Rep. Mo Brooks, former U.S. ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard, veteran Mike Dunn, and Jake Schafer.

Birmingham business owner Jessica Taylor announced last week she would be ending her campaign for US Senate in 2022 and endorsing fellow candidate Mike Durant. Senator Shelby announced back in June that he will be endorsing Katie Britt to take his seat.

The Republican primary is set for May 24, 2022. The election will be held November 8, 2022.

ABOUT MIKE DURANT

On October 3rd, 1993, during combat Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu Somalia, “Super Six Four,” the Blackhawk helicopter flown by Mike Durant, was hit by an RPG and crashed in the city.

Mike and and his crew, Ray Frank, Bill Cleveland, and Tommy Field, all badly injured, fought for their lives as a violent mob approached. Witnessing what was about to happen from above, two members of the elite Special Operations unit Delta Force – MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randy Shughart – volunteered to be inserted to defend them. They too were eventually overcome by the mob.

But Mike Durant, somehow survived, was captured and held as a POW by Somali General Mohamed Farrah Aidid.

The heroic actions of Gordon and Shughart – who were both posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor – are the reason Mike is alive today. Mike has seen sacrifice – fellow service members who put honor, country, and mission above all else. He knows firsthand that the United States leaves no one behind.

While in captivity, Mike heard the voice and promise of Dan Jollota broadcast from the sky:

“Mike Durant, we will not leave without you.”

Now, Mike is signing up for one more tour of duty to serve his country and Alabama in the United States Senate.

He’s watched as the Biden administration has deserted these core principles – abandoning our allies, along with American citizens, in Afghanistan; cowering to the influence of the Chinese as they evade responsibility for the Wuhan Virus; and letting the radical left open our borders and try and re-define the essence of what America stands for through misguided and distorted revisions of our history like “critical race theory”.

Mike believes that President Trump was the first President in his lifetime who always pushed for policies that put America first. That’s because he knows that America is more than just a country – it is a beacon of hope and freedom for the entire world.

President Trump knew it, Mike Durant lived it. And he will carry that vision forward in the U.S. Senate.

Mike Durant was released from captivity in Somalia after 11 days. He would later write a book titled In the Company of Heroes, about his experience on that mission in Somalia and the many other missions he participated in during his career. He also wrote The Night Stalkers, about the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in which he served.

After retiring from the Army with 22 years of active-duty service, Mike moved to Alabama with his family to start a new chapter in his life. He started and grew a highly successful business – Pinnacle Solutions, an engineering and services company based in Huntsville.

In thirteen years, Pinnacle has grown from a home office-based startup to over 500 employees and more than 175 subcontractor personnel operating in sixteen US and international locations with major prime and subcontract efforts supporting the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, NASA and the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics and a Master of Business Administration in Aviation degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Mike’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with Valor device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, one with Valor device, the POW/MIA ribbon, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and numerous other awards.

He and his wife Lisa (also an Army Aviator) reside in Huntsville and have a family of six children, four boys and two girls, three grandchildren and a fourth on the way.