AAPAC members interview a state rep. candidate, May 25.
DEARBORN — The Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) has begun its process of interviewing candidates to determine who will receive the organization's endorsement before the August 2 primary.
Formed in 1998, AAPAC consists of a diverse group of Arab American professionals who work to organize and encourage the political activities of Arab Americans. They lobby on behalf of Arab American political causes that may be of concern to the community and bring those issues before candidates seeking office.
Every election season, the organization conducts interviews with candidates who seek AAPAC's endorsement. Candidates are required to submit an endorsement request in writing.
AAPAC members then conduct extensive research on the candidates' political histories, which includes voting records, public statements and positions they may have taken on various issues in previous years.
On Wednesday, May 25, AAPAC conducted interviews at The AANews office. Five candidates from the 15th District State Representative race sought endorsements— Democratic candidates Abdallah Hammoud, Brian Stone, Roxanne McDonald and Jackie Zeidan, along with Republican candidate Paul Sophia.
AAPAC President Mona Fadlallah said the organization pressed candidates on issues of concern for the community, including education.
"We wanted to know what they believed were key issues concerning the Dearborn community," Fadlallah said. "We asked what they felt were important issues and how they've handled them in the past and how they will handle then in the future. Every candidate has their own experience and knowledge based on their background."
AAPAC also interviewed 19th District Court Judge candidate Gene Hunt. Abbie Bazzi and Susan Dabaja, who are also in the running for the judge's seat, were not interviewed because they are current AAPAC members.
Fadlallah said the organization is very familiar with the Dearborn judge candidates and their platforms and a lot of discussion will go into who they will endorse.
"Several members are familiar with them," Fadlallah said. "They are known by so many people and we've heard and read about what their platforms are. When it comes to voting for the endorsements, there's going to be a lot of discussions on who we should select."
AAPAC members are expected to vote on endorsements on June 1. The group is also preparing to interview several Third Circuit Court candidates who have reached out to the organization.