McFall wins Michigan House District 8 race

By: Andy Kozlowski | C&G Newspapers | Published November 21, 2022

 Mike McFall

Mike McFall


OAKLAND COUNTY/WAYNE COUNTY — During the general election Nov. 8, Mike McFall, the mayor pro tem of Hazel Park, prevailed in his bid for the newly redrawn 8th District of the Michigan House of Representatives.

The district covers the city of Hazel Park, most of Madison Heights and one Ferndale precinct, as well as the city of Highland Park and part of Detroit. The race was for a two-year term. The salary for a state representative is $71,685.

McFall, a Democrat, bested his Republican rival Robert Noble, of Madison Heights, in both Oakland and Wayne counties. In Oakland County, McFall received 10,367 votes while Noble received 5,561 votes, with 22 unassigned write-ins. In Wayne County, McFall received 12,991 votes while Noble received 694 votes, with 60 unassigned write-ins.

In a phone interview Nov. 9, McFall said that he will resign from the Hazel Park City Council this December, at which point the council will likely appoint his replacement. He said that the city will likely not hold a special election, since those are expensive and he only had one year left in his term. He was not sure whether the council would accept applications for the role, as they did with Luke Londo, the council’s most recent appointment.

“I started my campaign in January; I was the first one who filed. I’m exhausted, but I’m excited at the same time. It’s nice to be able to bring stuff back to the district — that’s what my whole plan is, to make sure the residents here are cared for,” McFall said.

Noble also shared his thoughts in a phone interview Nov. 9.

“In the (Republican) primary, I garnered a whopping number of votes, and in the general I about tripled it. I think I got my message out and that I did fairly well in my first race as a newcomer to the scene,” Noble said. “This whole campaign, I’ve said, look, you might not like my solutions to these problems and we may disagree on them, but at least I’m giving you a solution, a starting point.”

As for McFall, he said that there are “a billion things people are concerned about right now,” but some of the most pressing issues are mental health care, gun safety, women’s reproductive rights and the environment.

“We need to make sure that people are getting preventative (mental health) care, so that they don’t end up in those moments of crisis, where it can turn and become a very bad situation, and they end up arrested and in the system, or worse, someone gets killed,” McFall said. “So rather than just relying on our police departments and judiciaries, we need to also help people in advance, and work on de-stigmatizing mental health care, so that people are comfortable accepting that help. I think that’s starting to occur, because the pandemic affected so many people’s mental health.”

McFall also said that more needs to be done to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands.

“Parents shouldn’t have to fear sending their kids to school — that should be a safe space for kids to learn. I remember when I was younger, the only drills we had were fire drills and tornado drills; we didn’t have SWAT teams coming into schools to do training. And what does that do to kids and their thoughts? Reminds me of when there was the scare of nuclear war, being pounded into our heads as a reality. So, I think there’s a mental toll that the threat of guns takes on kids,” McFall said.

“And it ties back to mental health care, in general: Why did a kid think to pick up a gun and bring it to school to solve whatever problem he was having? That’s why we also need things like red flag laws, secure storage and other common-sense gun laws,” he said. “I grew up with guns; I’m not anti-gun and I’m not trying to take them away. We’re just trying to make things safer for everyone.”

On the topic of reproductive rights, he said that the passage of Proposal 3 has made Michigan a safe space for abortions, and that it could be a boon for the state’s economy.

“Employers are throwing out a broad net to get people from across the country, and having access to abortion will help our state’s businesses recruit and hire people who want to live here,” McFall said. “Otherwise, they’re not going to want to live in Michigan if we pass draconian laws (banning abortion).”

He also spoke to another form of health — that of the environment.

“This district, in the Detroit area, has high asthma rates, and it’s because of pollutants in the air — and that disproportionately affects minority communities, since they tend to live closer to heavily industrialized zones. So, we have to be looking at the environment in terms of how it affects people,” McFall said. “It’s not just how pollution and climate change affects the planet, but also how it affects the population.”

While Noble lost, he said he hopes policymakers will consider his ideas, such as helping senior citizens stay in their homes by reducing property taxes; helping veterans find work by implementing a “hire veterans first” policy at businesses; reducing what colleges receive from the state and using that money to subsidize scholarships for low-income students; and trying to deter gun crimes with more severe prison sentences, while also improving reform programs for the incarcerated.

“Crime is certainly an issue throughout our state, regardless of where you live, and the people I spoke to on the campaign trail … all say that crime is a top priority for them,” Noble said. “They want a safe community, and we need to be tough on crime instead of soft.”

Looking forward, Noble said he is not sure whether he will run for office again.

As for McFall, he said is eager to get to work serving the district.

“Working with others — relationships — that’s how you get things done in the political realm,” McFall said, noting he has already formed many connections with policymakers across the state thanks to his role on the City Council. “You just have to find out what you have in common. I might not have a lot in common with a Republican in terms of ideas, but maybe mental health care has affected their family, so maybe that’s something we can come together on. Those are the sort of things that affect all Michiganders.”