Much at stake for Arab Americans in Michigan’s vote Aug. 7
Michigan, which has one of the largest Arab American populations, will vote on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, in primary elections. Many Arab Americans are on the ballot including Abdul El-Sayed for Governor on the Democratic ticket, and Rashida Tlaib for Congress, also on the Democratic ticket. There are several others, too. The Michigan elections on Tuesday is a good opportunity for Arab Americans to express themselves about the issues we face in America
By Ray Hanania
Michigan, which has one of the largest Arab American populations, will vote on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, in primary elections. Many Arab Americans are on the ballot including Abdul El-Sayed for Governor on the Democratic ticket, and Rashida Tlaib for Congress, also on the Democratic ticket.
There are several others, too. The Michigan elections on Tuesday is a good opportunity for Arab Americans to express themselves about the issues we face in America.
Polling and pundits show that El-Sayed has a tough fight as a newcomer in the election contest but he is doing well having received strong backing from high profile political activists including U.S. Senator an former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and filmmaker Michael Moore.
Many traditional Democrats, hoping to have a Democrat take over the governor’s mansion in the November 6, 2018 General Elections and strengthen the state’s Democratic voter base in anticipation of the 2020 Presidential elections, have given their support to Gretchen Whitmer, a much better known and longtime Democrat who served in the Michigan House and currently is the Michigan State Senator from the 23rd District.
Rashida Tlaib has the best odds, however, of winning the Democratic nomination to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of longtime Congressman John Conyers.
Tlaib has extensive experience having served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2008 to 2014. She is in a large field of candidates which increases her chances.
I will be joined on live radio in Michigan on Friday, August 10, 2018, on WNZK AM 690 at 8 am (EST Detroit time) to discuss the election results in Michigan by Dennis Denno, a longtime political consultant, pollster and Michigan activist. Denno is the director of Denno Research.
(You can listen to the radio show live in Michigan and also online by clicking one of these links:
(The radio show is broadcast at 7 am in Chicago online, and 3 pm in occupied Jerusalem online.)
Overview of Arabs running for Congress in Michigan:
In Michigan, four Arab Americans, including one incumbent and two retired former state legislators are running for Congress in the 3rd, 11th and 13th districts in Michigan’s August 7 primary.
Republican Palestinian American Congressman Justin Amash is seeking re-election in Michigan’s 3rd District, where he has held office since 2011. Amash is expected to easily win.
West of Detroit in the heavily Republican 11th Congressional, incumbent Republican Congressman Dave Trott announced he will not seek re-election creating a vacancy. Two Arab Americans, one Republican and one Democrat, have entered the race.
Elected in 2013, Republican Klint Kesto is the first Christian Chaldean with Assyrian roots to serve in Michigan’s state legislature. He faces five other challengers.
Lebanese American Fayrouz Saad is also running in the 11th District Democratic Primary. She faces four other challengers.
Conceivably, Kesto and Fayrouz could face-off in the General Election in November, if they each win their party primaries, and one could win.
Palestinian American Democrat Rashida Tlaib, who retired after 12 years the Michigan legislature because of term limits, is one of 10 candidates vying to succeed the “Dean” of the U.S. House, Democrat John Conyers in the predominantly Democratic 13th District.
Conyers, an African American, has served in his seat 52 years since 1965 but was forced to step down last year in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.
Tlaib faces a tough field that includes Conyers’ son John Conyers III, and Conyers’ nephew, State Senator Ian Conyers. The district is 56.3 percent Black. Also running is another African American with an iconic name, Coleman Young II whose father was a former Detroit mayor.
The American Human Rights Council, which is active in Arab American and Muslim American human rights issues, release this statement urging Arabs and Muslims to vote.