|Sam Salamey receiving final resultes from his supporters monitoring the vote count at Dearborn City Hall, while walking with his long time friend and supporter Ali Jawad, founder of the Lebanese American Heritage Club at Greenfield Manor on Tuesday night, August 7. PHOTO: The Arab American News|
DEARBORN – Attorney Sam Salamey took the lead among other candidates in the race for a seat on the bench in Dearborn’s 19th District Court. His victory in yesterday’s statewide primary election is significant considering no Arab American has ever served as a judge in the court, although Arab Americans account for more than 40 percent of the city’s population.
According to election results Salamey, the top vote-getter, received 5,344 votes, incumbent Judge Richard Wygonik earned 4,504 votes and attorney Candyce Abbatt came in third place with 3,594 votes which puts her out of the race. Salamey and Wygonik will compete in the general election on Nov. 6. Tuesday night nearly 150 people gathered at Greenfield Manor for Salamey’s election night party, awaiting results. Wygonik is currently the sitting District Chief Judge, and Abbatt is a local attorney who specializes in family law.
“Having an Arab American judge serving in Dearborn is just way overdue, I’m sorry, come on look at the demographics here,” one supporter of Salamey told The Arab American News yesterday. Volunteer’s from Salamey’s campaign were spotted at various precincts today, and even knocked on doors encouraging residents to go out and vote. “He’s going to serve as a role model for what Arab Americans can accomplish,” said Ali Sahoubah of Dearborn. Several volunteers from the Arab American Political Action Committee, a majority of them young people worked tirelessly on election day while fasting for Ramadan, and despite grueling hot temperatures.