AASP-Missouri State President Mike Moehlenkamp (D), of Gary’s Auto Service in Florissant, MO, has announced that he will be running for the State House of Representatives for District 68, against incumbent Representative Jay Mosley (D). In a video announcing his candidacy, Moehlenkamp promised, “I am honored to announce my candidacy for the Missouri House of Representatives, 68th District. I will work hard every day to represent you and your interests. I’ll listen to understand the issues that are important to you and your neighbors, and I’ll take your input to Jefferson City and work to sponsor legislation that makes a difference.”
“I want to stabilize the neighborhood by working to enhance and develop our community as a great and safe place to live and work,” Moehlenkamp continued. “The future of the community is about partnership and working together. I want to work with you.”
Noting that many state legislators are uninformed about the automotive industry, Moehlenkamp hopes to educate them on the industry. According to Moehlenkamp, “It would be helpful to have someone [in the legislature] who has a background in the [automotive] industry. It was just amazing to hear legislatures proclaim that they think shops are equipped with a magic black box that instantly fixes cars. It was dumbfounding to me.”
As part of his association duties, Moehlenkamp has visited the state capitol many times to testify on vehicle safety inspection bills, and this is “what piqued my interest in the whole process and how the government worked,” he explained. “The one thing that stood out to me is there’s a real lack of knowledge among legislators as far as the automotive industry is concerned — both in mechanical and collision. It was just amazing to me to hear legislatures talking about vehicle repair and what they think these new technologically advanced cars can do. You would have thought we were in the age of the Jetsons.”
Over the years, Moehlenkamp has expressed concern as Missouri’s state inspection program has become “watered down.” In 2019, the legislature loosened requirements so a vehicle inspection is not required until the vehicle reaches 10 years of age or 150,000 miles. “If your vehicle falls below either one of those marks, then it’s not required to have a state inspection, which sounds crazy.”
In addition to working to restore the previous state inspection program to require safety inspections for vehicles once they reach five years old, Moehlenkamp will advocate for updating the guidelines to be more effective for modern vehicles that are equipped with ABS, TPMS, ADAS and other safety systems; currently, those systems would still pass safety inspections if the dashlights were on.
Pointing out that some legislators have pushed to reduce the requirements over the years, Moehlenkamp said, “They peck away at it. It used to be an annual inspection before they moved it to two years. They had also stated it wasn’t required for vehicles five years old and younger. Their most consistent reasoning was that inspections were an inconvenience to motorists and the state, which only takes no more than an hour at most to perform.”
In response to claims that vehicles are inspected when they are taken to a shop for a routine service, Moehlenkamp observed, “While that might be true for some shops, such as mine, not every shop is performing courtesy inspections. As the program gets watered down and vehicles become less safe, I’ll never be convinced that car insurance rates won’t increase with more accidents, too. I don’t want to be disparaging toward those legislators, I just don’t think they’re in-tune with what’s going on.”
Additionally, Moehlenkamp hopes to generate awareness about Right to Repair concerns, plus he will support efforts to restore automotive technology programs in local high schools. “The public needs to understand automotive repair will become ridiculously expensive if we don’t have new techs entering the industry. Tech wages will become astronomical and those costs will be passed on to consumers.”
Since 1991, Moehlenkamp and his wife, Lisa, have lived in North St. Louis County where they raised their children and established a successful shop. Moehlenkamp has been active in the community for years, serving as past-chair of the North County Chamber of Commerce where he is now a board member. He is also a board member of North County Incorporated and president of his neighborhood association. In addition to being President of AASP-MO, he also serves on the Advisory Board of Ranken Technical Institute and other vocational programs.
“I look forward to bringing my commitment and passion for North County to representation of District 68 in the House of Representatives,” Moehlenkamp said. “I believe my significant experience and active community involvement positions me well to take on this challenge. I am committed to actively representing you and hearing about your questions and concerns for our District. I believe North St. Louis County is special, and I want to work with you to preserve and enhance our community.”
Missouri’s state representatives are elected to a two-year term that begins on the first day of the legislative session. Representatives are limited to no more than four two-year terms. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 4, and the general election will be held on Nov. 3.
For more information about Moehlenkamp and his political beliefs, visithttps://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Political-Candidate/Mike-Moehlenkamp-for-Missouri-State-Rep-100895644929133/.