Michigan state representative Abdullah Hammoud won the Dearborn mayoral primary on Tuesday night. He held a huge lead over the rest of the seven-candidate pool, winning 42.36% of the vote, reports Detroit Free Press.
The runner-up, former Wayne County Commissioner Gary Woronchak, won 18.17% of the primary vote and will go head-to-head with Hammoud during the November 2 general election. If Hammoud wins, he will become the city’s first Arab American mayor.
The November election will decide the first new mayor of Dearborn since 2007, when current Mayor John O’Reilly was first elected. O’Reilly is not seeking re-election amid health concerns, Detroit Free Press reports.
Dearborn, dubbed the ‘Capital of Arab America” has one of the largest Arab and Muslim communities in the country, Middle East Eye reports. Hammoud’s victory indicates that Arabs are a core Dearborn demographic and active political class. His success in predominantly White neighborhoods also “dispelled the myth that Arab candidates could not have broad appeal.”
Abdullah Hammoud is a Dearborn native born to Lebanese immigrant parents. He is a graduate of Dearborn Public Schools and the University of Michigan, where he received a Bachelor of Science in epidemiology, Master of Public Health, and Master of Business Administration. He first ran for state representative in honor of his older brother’s passing, reports UMich SPH.
As Dearborn’s mayoral race is non-partisan, the candidates depend must focus on local issues, MEE reports. Residents are frustrated by the current administration’s handling of recent flooding and have commended Hammoud’s work in organizing help. Hammoud has based his campaign around the three major issues of COVID-19 recovery, property tax, and road safety.
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