AAPAC announces endorsements for Aug. 7 Michigan primaries
By Natasha Dado | Friday, 07.20.2012, 11:17 PM

The Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) has announced its endorsements for the Aug. 7 Michigan primaries. 
Over the last few months, AAPAC has been conducting a series of endorsement interviews with candidates competing in the upcoming primaries. The candidates personally requested endorsements from the group.   
AAPAC stopped interviewing candidates in late June, and its members convened in early July to vote on which candidates would receive endorsements. Only candidates who obtained two-thirds of the vote were endorsed.  
"After careful consideration, and much debate, AAPAC members voted to endorse these candidates.  All of our choices possess an exceptional track record of success, and we expect to continue seeing them excel," AAPAC Endorsement Chairwoman Tina Farhat said. 
 Farhat says the group of endorsed candidates is comprised of well-qualified individuals who will serve the community well with their experience, ability and willingness to listen to constituents, in addition to their general devotion to the position they're seeking. 
The endorsements are for the August primaries. AAPAC will hold endorsement interviews in the Fall for the November general election, and could possibly reevaluate its endorsements then depending on the outcome of the primary election. 
 The following candidates have received endorsements from AAPAC, and issued these statements in response: 
Candidate: Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon
Position Sought: Wayne County Sheriff 
"Your endorsement is very important to me as we work together to improve the quality of life for all of our citizens.  I know we can curb the crime and community ills that plague our neighborhoods and detract from the peace we should all enjoy. I am humbled by your endorsement, and thank you for helping me to remain your sheriff."         
Candidate:  Sam Salamey 
Position Sought: Dearborn's 19th District Court Judge  
Sam Salamey has been practicing law in Dearborn for the last 27 years, and also served as a prosecutor for eight years. Salamey started his career with the Dearborn Police as a community relations officer. He worked for the Dearborn Board of Education as instructional technician at Fordson High School for two years. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Dearborn Board of Ethics. 
Candidate: Mark Somers, Dearborn 19th District Court Judge     
Position Sought: Wayne County Circuit Court Judge  
Following 19 years of private practice Somers was elected to the Dearborn District Court where he is currently serving his tenth year on the bench. He has been an honorary advisory board member of ADC-Michigan, and member of the Supreme Court steering committee developing court rules to assist people with limited English proficiency. 
Candidate: Dearborn School Board Member Hussein Berry
Position Sought: State Representative for Michigan's 9th House District   
"I am, and have always been, a strong advocate of our younger generation and quality education.  As a member of the Dearborn School Board and a trustee at Henry Ford Community College, I have worked tirelessly to see that quality education is available to all those who seek it.  I love our community, and I'm committed to serving it, and ask for your vote on Aug. 7." 
Candidate:  David Knezek 
Position Sought: State Representative, Michigan's 11th House District 
David Knezek is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps where he served for six years, completing two tours of duty in Iraq. Upon returning home he utilized the Post 9/11 GI Bill to put himself through school at the University of Michigan-Dearborn where he was proud to represent the 9,000 member student body as President of the Student Government. He's currently a substitute teacher in Wayne County, and is 25-years-old. 
Candidate: Adel Harb
Position Sought: Wayne County Circuit Court Judge
"As a candidate for Wayne County Circuit Court Judge, I have been practicing law to serve the Metro Detroit area for twenty years. I maintain a general practice, and I am a certified mediator. Immediately following my graduation from Cooley Law School, I clerked with the Circuit Court. Afterwards, I started my practice specializing in criminal and family law."
Candidate: Rose Mary Robinson 
Position Sought: State Representative for Michigan's 4th House District
 Democrat Rose Mary C. Robinson is a mother of six, and a 48 year resident of the 4th district, and has practiced law for over 30 years.  Attorney Robinson was the first woman elected to the Wayne County Commission and recently finished a three year term on the Detroit Charter Commission.
Candidate: Jane Ellen Gillis
Position Sought: Wayne County Circuit Court Judge  
Jane Ellen Gillis has been a trial attorney for over 20 years.  For the past seven years she has worked as a Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor. Previously she was a solo practitioner who practiced in the areas of probate, criminal, collection, appellate and family law. She also served as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General for seven years. 
Candidate:  Wanda Evans 
Position Sought: Judge, 36th  District Court 
Attorney Wanda Evans was born and raised in the City of Detroit.  She worked for the Misdemeanor Defender's Office of the 36th District Court representing indigent clients.  Later, she started her own law firm and has practiced law for over seventeen years in the areas of criminal, family and civil law.
Candidate: State Representative Bob Constan of Michigan's 16th House District 
Position Sought: Wayne County Commission, 8th District seat
 "If I am re-elected I will continue to work on Economic Development projects in the Dearborn and Dearborn Heights area. I will also fight to adequately fund our cities, so that the residents of Dearborn Heights can have adequate police and fire protection." 
Candidate: Sherry J. Gay-Dagnogo
Position Sought: Michigan's 8th House District 
Sherry J. Gay-Dagnogo is a relentless education advocate, and is considered a Hybrid Education Reform Strategist with more than 20 years of experience dedicated to public service working for the Detroit City Council for 9 years, six years as a science teacher for Detroit Public Schools, and as an education consultant with projects funded by the city of Detroit, the Kellogg, Kresge, Ford and Skillman Foundations, UCLA, and United Way of Southeastern MI. 
Candidate: Sabrina Johnson
Position Sought: Judge, 22nd District Court
Sabrina Johnson has over 16 years of legal experience both as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Public Defender.  Ms. Johnson’s family has lived in Inkster since 1943.  She attended Inkster Public Schools and graduated from Cherry Hill High School in 1985.  Ms. Johnson began her career as a public servant in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.  She has effectively handled felony and misdemeanor trials but is most experienced in the area of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence cases. 
Candidate: State Representative Phil Cavanagh of Michigan's 17th House District
Position Sought: State Representative, Michigan's 17th House District
"I am currently serving my first term as State Representative. I have been an advocate for seniors, middle-class families and children. I introduced legislation to bring transparency and accountability to government and to reform Wayne County. Before serving as a State Representative I served four terms as a Wayne County Commissioner."  

By Natasha Dado

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