This election season has been marred by negative campaigning and "dark" turns. But that should not discourage you from participating in the Aug. 2 primaries. Voters will decide on several judicial, legislative and county races.
Although it is only a primary, the election will likely determine who will represent Dearborn in the State House of Representatives for the next two years because the 15th District is a safe Democratic seat.
Voters will also decide the two candidates who will make it to the final round in the race for Dearborn judge.
The outcome of those two contests directly affect residents' living.
Your vote counts, in fact–it's crucial. Especially in such a decisive primary election, where a handful of votes could put a candidate in office who could subsequently write the future of our city and state.
A small margin, which could be created by you, your friends and family on Tuesday, can help decide the policies that govern our society for years to come.
Our votes in each election increase the community's impact on the political landscape of the region.
When we turn out in large numbers and create a voting bloc, politicians cannot overlook us. They will have to recognize our interests and answer to our concerns. The Arab vote has already proved its strength. Arab Americans' support for Bernie Sanders delivered Michigan to the democratic socialist senator and kept him in the race for months to come. Let us build on that power.
It is not only about the influence of the Arab community. Society as a whole improves when all of its segments are represented. Your vote represents us. Cast it.
Despite Arab Americans' frustrations with Washington, change at the local level is possible. Let us start the change in our own backyards by showing up to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 2.
It has been a tradition for our newspaper to back candidates endorsed by the Arab American Political Action Committee, which vets and interviews those running for office. Below is a list of candidates we think deserve your vote on Aug. 2.
Dearborn's 19th District Court Judge:
Vote for Abbie Bazzi
All of the candidates running in this judicial race are experienced attorneys, but Abbie Bazzi's experience in legal work and management stands out above the rest. She has been employed at the UAW Ford Legal Services Plan for nearly 20 years. She has personally handled more than 12,000 cases and had a hand in more 42,000 cases as a supervisor.
The Arab American News has always encouraged and endorsed qualified Arab American candidates. The newspaper fully supported Susan Dabaja in her bid for City Council in 2013. Her win in that election was historic. To lose her as City Council president would not serve the best interests of this community. Further, suitability for one office does not necessarily translate into suitability for another.
To be clear, our endorsement of Bazzi is not a slight on any other candidate. She has practiced in almost every area of the law for the last 24 years. She has managed and supervised attorneys and support staff for the last 17 years. She has fought on behalf of working families.
It is our strongly held belief that she will make a fair judge in Dearborn. We urge our community to strengthen Arab American representation in local offices by voting for her on Aug. 2.
Abdullah Hammoud is our choice for 15th District State Rep.
In the Democratic race for State Rep. for the 15th District, which includes most of Dearborn, we endorse Abdullah Hammoud. During interviews and candidate forums, Hammoud has displayed a real command of the issues facing Dearborn residents. He understands how Lansing works and has what it takes to get the job done for his constituents. He has a remarkable presence and has garnered support and respect in the Democratic Party. He will be a team player and an excellent representative of Dearborn residents in Lansing.
"When I think of Dearborn, I think of it as one of the most successful small business cities in the state," Hammoud told The AANews in February. "I would like to provide easier barriers of entry for business owners, such as start-up loans for businesses that would push forth entrepreneurships."
We can stand behind that.
On the Republican side: Paul Sophiea
If voters decide to vote on the Republican side of this race, we recommended they vote for Paul Sophiea.
Wayne County Treasurer: We endorse Eric Sabree
Given the financial state of the county and its effect on our property taxes, this position is of the utmost importance. Eric Sabree, who was appointed Wayne County treasurer earlier this year, is seeking a full four-year term in office.
Sabree is the first African American and first Muslim treasurer in the county. He has an impressive resume that makes him well qualified for the position. He served as deputy chief treasurer for five years. Prior to that, he also spent five years as chief of the real estate and tax section of the Wayne County's law office.
"I know how taxes work," Sabree told The AANews earlier this month. "I understood how the office worked even before I got there. I've had a hands-on approach with taxpayers. I got a chance to see what people are doing and dealing with."
Wayne County Register of Deeds: Re-elect Bernard J. Youngblood
Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judges: