Jack O’Malley talks about why he is running for 101st House seat.

April 26, 2018

Jack O’Malley talks about why he is running for 101st House seat.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.


Jack O’Malley decided to run for state representative as a way to give back to his state and country. He is the son of a World War II veteran who passed away when O’Malley was young. “My parents were older when they had me, they were 44-years-old. My dad was proud of his military service but never really talked about it much. He died when I was a young boy. My mother was very proud of my dad’s service and she was very patriotic. I have always been involved with veterans organizations in honor of my dad but I never joined the military. In many ways I regret that and choosing to run for state representative is my way of giving back.”

O’Malley is seeking the Republican nomination for candidate in the 101st House of Representatives district, which covers Mason, Manistee, Benzie, and Leelanau counties. His name, voice, and face are well known around northwestern Michigan. For 34 years the Lake Ann (Benzie County) resident has worked as the morning show host on WTCM radio in Traverse City. He has also worked the last 20 years as the host of “Jack’s Journal” on WWTV (TV 9&10). O’Malley is also the operations manager of WTCM.

O’Malley describes himself as a conservative and said in a two-party system the republican party best suits him.

“I believe in God, country and apple pie,” he said.

“I am not one of those people who comes into this process with an agenda,” he said. “I want to go represent the people and do the best I can.”

O’Malley said he knows that there are many topics that are important to the citizens of the 101st district. But, he believes some of the top issues are job growth, school funding, and childcare. “I think in many ways, those three topics go hand in hand,” he said. “Childcare is an extremely important topic and something that is difficult to find in northwest Michigan. We need to provide quality, affordable childcare in order for people to work. We also need to have quality schools in order to train workers. These are things that I would focus on. I think that most people on either side of the aisle could agree that those are important topics.”

O’Malley said regulations are hindering people from providing quality childcare centers.

“The regulations are crazy. I know we have to have regulations and there was a time when it was certainly necessary to create them. But, we have reached a point where there is a hindrance on people who want to start up daycare centers. Employers tend to stay away from providing childcare and this restricts people from working.”

MCP asked O’Malley about some other topics that the legislature is facing.

No-fault insurance:

“It seems that 49 other states seem to do it a whole lot better than we do here in Michigan,” he said. “I remember when no-fault insurance was just coming online. They pitched it that nobody would get sued and that was just great. But, it’s crazy the amount of money we pay for our car insurance, especially compare to everywhere else. I understand the discussion on having the catastrophic fund, but it seems the other 49 states have been able to have an alternative.

“In broad terms, we need to fix it. I’m disappointed that the current legislature hasn’t fixed it and hopefully it will do so before the end of the year.”

Income tax:

“Regarding taxes in general, I have always believed, from the federal level on down, that we pay way too much in taxes. We earn our money and we work hard for it. I think we as citizens should keep more of our money. I am curious about the idea of eliminating the state income tax. I have looked at states that have done this, such as Tennessee, Texas, and Florida. They seem to be doing really well without an income tax.”


“I know the cherry industry has been facing a huge tariff situation, it’s killing them. That’s really a federal issue, but I believe that as state legislators we can push our representatives in Congress to address this issue. I am still learning about the issues that other farmers face but certainly realize that agriculture is one of the top industries in Michigan and certainly a major part of our economy in the 101st District.”


“I understand that people are passionate about the environment. I am too. I’m a guy who believes in common sense and realistic solutions to every day problems. I know we can find a way that doesn’t destroy our industries and livelihoods and at the same time not destroy nature. We just have to talk it through.

“This really goes along with any topic. I am a conservation and I follow some simple values: I don’t want babies to die. I don’t want people to starve and I don’t want to destroy our environment. I think we all really want the same things but we just have different paths of getting there.”

The campaign.

O’Malley is being opposed by Ludington resident Carolyn Cater (interview to be posted this weekend). As a result, as an online personality the Federal Communications Commission does not allow him to be on the air unless his opponent agrees, in writing, that she is not opposed to him continuing to be in that role. O’Malley has chosen to stop down from being on the air to concentrate on the campaign. Today was his last day on the air. He will remain the operations manager of WTCM, however.

Republican voters will decide in the Aug. 7 Primary Election if O’Malley or Cater will be their candidate for 101st state representative.

“I am looking to the months ahead,” O’Malley said. “I’m going to work hard and I’m going to meet everybody I can. I want to listen to everybody, including those people who might not share the same political views as I do. When I’m elected I’m going to represent everybody. I will vote my conscience but I want to talk. I want to know where we agree and how I can help.

“I’m looking forward to this. I really want to make a difference. I’m not going to be a guy who just sits behind a big desk in Lansing and say ‘Look where I’m at?’ I want to roll up my sleeves and go at it.”

In addition to the two Republican candidates, two Democrats are also going to be facing off in the August Primary Election: Edward Hoogterp of Beulah and Kathy Wiejacka of Empire.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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