Chippewa grad, Macomb resident announces candidacy for state House seat

By: Thomas Franz | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 13, 2016

 Chippewa Valley High School graduate and Macomb Township resident Mel Koch has announced his candidacy for Michigan’s 33rd district seat in the House of Representatives.

Chippewa Valley High School graduate and Macomb Township resident Mel Koch has announced his candidacy for Michigan’s 33rd district seat in the House of Representatives.

Photo provided by Mel Koch


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A lifelong Macomb Township resident and 2004 graduate of Chippewa Valley High School has announced his candidacy for Michigan’s 33rd District seat in the state House of Representatives.

Mel Koch, who is running as a Republican, has spent the last six years as a legislative aide after earning a master’s degree in history from Eastern Michigan University in 2009.

“I think it gives me a unique experience,” Koch said. “I do have six years of state government work as a legislative aide, and I’ve helped thousands of families over that six years in Macomb County.”

At press time, there were four other candidates who had filed to run for the soon-to-be vacated seat. Rep. Ken Goike, R-Ray Township, is ineligible to keep his seat due to term limits.

Republicans Colleen Carl (Armada), Charles Karafa (Macomb Township), Steven Stoll (Macomb Township) and Jeff Yaroch (Richmond) have also filed to run to represent the 33rd District.

Koch said that although he has never held public office before, his experience in state government makes him qualified for the spot.

“I know what it takes, and I’ll know what to expect. There won’t be any on-the-job training required for me,” Koch said.

Koch said his top priorities in office would be to lower the state individual income tax and to make civics a core subject for high school students.

“Ideally, I would like to zero it (the income tax) out — that’s an ideal scenario for me — but ultimately, Governor Granholm had it raised from 3.9 percent to 4.3 five years ago, and it hasn’t gone back down,” Koch said. “That was the indication that it would go back down, and it hasn’t, and I would like to see it as a minimum go back down, if not further.”

Koch’s stance on civics education comes from his background as a history major.

“I would like to see more of an education on civics. I feel that the minimal requirements of one semester at the high school level is insignificant, and we need to value civics the same way we value math, reading and science,” Koch said. “I would make civics a core subject that each student across Michigan would be able to study for years, not just one semester.”

Koch is a member of the National Rifle Association, the Michigan Farm Bureau, Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners.

“I’m a strong believer that we shouldn’t be taking away rights from law-abiding citizens. I don’t think harsher gun control restrictions do anything to stop criminals. Criminals ignore the law regardless of what it is,” Koch said. “I’m 100 percent pro-life, and I think life is a gift from God, and I value it.”

For more information on other candidates, check our website at www.cand and upcoming editions of the paper.

Filing deadline approaching
Candidates wishing to run in the Aug. 2 Michigan primary election must file by 4 p.m. April 19.

In addition to the five candidates who have already announced their intention to run in the 33rd District, there have been several other candidates who have filed to run for other positions.

In Macomb County commissioner races, incumbent Joe Sabatini, R-Macomb Township, has filed to run for the 13th District, which makes up most of Macomb Township. Martha O’Kray, D-Macomb Township, has filed to run for the same seat.

In township races, incumbent Treasurer Karen Goodhue has filed to run again, along with incumbent Trustees Dino Bucci, Clifford Freitas and Roger Krzeminski.

According to the Macomb County Clerk’s Office, Supervisor Janet Dunn, Clerk Michael Koehs and Trustee Nancy Nevers had not yet filed to run for their positions as of press time.