A Lockport Township resident with deep family ties to St. Joseph County government has committed to challenge incumbent prosecuting attorney John McDonough.

David Marvin, whose father was a longtime county commissioner and grandfather of a 42-year clerk’s office employee, said he wasn’t going to stand on the sidelines and watch McDonough go uncontested for a fourth, four-year term.

“I work on a daily basis with the court, felony cases in circuit to misdemeanors down in district, and all of the judges, whether they say it publicly or not – I don’t think they would because they can’t – there’s an obvious problem. Court staff and everybody knows that,” Marvin said. “When I came on the scene about six years ago, I heard about it. Everybody talked about it but it was always a whisper and nobody really did anything about it.”

Marvin said as the filing period for the August primary approached, he came to the conclusion that “nothing’s going to change anywhere unless somebody does something.”

With that, Marvin said he weighed the options and decided to contest McDonough.

Marvin, 45, said he always assumed he would follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by serving in the public sector in some capacity. He recalled his family grew up two doors from the McDonoughs.

“John and I were playmates when we were kids, I was a little bit older than John, but I’ve always known him … he comes from a very good family and John has a very good heart,” Marvin said. “As our county’s prosecuting attorney, it’s just, we play softball, everybody’s too nice and too gentle, and if somebody does something wrong, hold them accountable.”

The father of three, Marvin has been St. Joseph County Bar Association president the past two years. In that capacity, he said he has fielded a number of private concerns from fellow attorneys and anyone affiliated with the association.

“It got to the point where I thought, ‘Somebody needs to do something,’ and I don’t think anybody was in a position to do it or was willing,” he said. “It’s a lot of work and it takes a lot of money, but I feel it’s a duty to run at this time.”

Marvin said he has fielded an abundance of positive feedback and is encouraged by the reaction he is getting, including from people in positions who are unable to publicly take a side.

“I think people are ready, but I’ve told people, too, don’t vote for me because you think that you don’t like him or you don’t like what’s going on, vote for me because you know that I’ll kick ass,” Marvin said. “I’m going to try to let people know if they want to see performance, I’ve got a strong private-industry record, I’ve excelled at just about everything I do and I work hard, that’s why.”

Marvin, a music aficionado, said he left the area for almost 20 years, living and working in Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei, as well as St. Louis and Grand Rapids.

“I returned to Three Rivers in 2014 after leaving a corporate setting and began my private law practice, where I have been ever since,” Marvin said. “I feel compelled to serve the community as my family did before me. I am aware of some serious issues that should be fixed in our local, criminal justice system and I am the right person for the job.”