DEARBORN — The Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) is endorsing a number of candidates in state and municipal elections for the August primary elections.
Since 1998, AAPAC has organized Arab Americans to encourage political activity and participation. The organization maintains a thorough endorsement process for candidates, many of whom have done important work in their communities and have become mainstays in the American political fabric.
AAPAC President Mona Fadlallah said this year the endorsement process resulted in deciding on those individuals who exhibited candor, impartiality and intellect, as well as the requisite compassion for the communities they serve or seek to serve in.
“AAPAC members searched for individuals who are not only leaders in their own right and ready to promote justice, but also have a proven track record for putting people first, not politics,” Fadlallah said. “Several candidates discussed the necessity of diversity and the importance of invigorating their district and the state of Michigan.
“They also spoke of promoting the implementation or expansion of initiatives that assist the disadvantaged or others deserving a second chance to better their lives. Moreover, the endorsed candidates’ profound sense of humility and resoluteness to fulfill their official duties, with consideration for all its citizens, truly resonated with our members.”
AAPAC 2020 election endorsements
Justice Bridget Mary McCormack – Michigan Supreme Court
McCormack joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2013 and became chief justice in January 2019. She has promoted statewide initiatives to make courts independent, accessible and engaged with their communities.
Elizabeth Welch – Michigan Supreme Court
The West Michigan attorney has a long history of public service, including serving as vice president of the East Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education. Included in her platform are safer and fair working conditions, equity in education and protecting our natural resources.
Daniel Cherrin – Oakland County Commission — District 18
A former communications director for the city of Detroit, Cherrin once ran for state representative while he was a senior at the University of Michigan at the tender age of 21. Since then he has had a long career in public relations.
Dave Coulter – Oakland County executive
The former Ferndale mayor took the highest seat in the state’s wealthiest county during a tumultuous time, following the passing of longtime Republican Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. Coulter recently had to see his county through the COVID-19 pandemic as one the state’s epicenters for the virus.
Karen McDonald – Oakland County prosecutor
McDonald has served as both Oakland County Circuit Court judge and as assistant prosecutor, prosecuting child sexual assault cases. She has gained endorsements from several prominent Democratic Party coalitions.
Sam Baydoun – Wayne County commissioner — 13th District
Commissioner Sam Baydoun has called Dearborn and Wayne County home for the last 40 years. In his capacity as a Wayne County Commissioner, he serves on the committees on public services, economic development, ways and means, public safety, judiciary and homeland security, and the special committee on senior citizens and veterans affairs.
Baydoun looks forward to working with the rest of his colleagues on the commission to move Wayne County forward.
David M. Knezek, Jr. – Wayne County commissioner – Eighth District
Knezek was appointed to the Commission in February, representing Dearborn Heights, Redford Township and part of Livonia. The former Marine Corps sergeant has served in both the Michigan House and Senate. He replaced Commissioner Diane Webb after her resignation.
Abdullah Hammoud – Michigan State Representative – District 15
The young Lebanese American political superstar is now in his third and final campaign for state representative. As in previous campaigns, Hammoud is running on a platform of better infrastructure, air and water protections, healthcare accessibility and education.
Abraham Aiyash – Michigan State Representative – District Four
Running for a well-contested seat in a district that includes Hamtramck and some Detroit neighborhoods, the Yemeni American has clenched the endorsement of Bernie Sanders and other progressive-leaning Democrats. The office was left vacant after the untimely passing of popular State Rep. Isaac Robinson.
Mike Chehab – Michigan State Representative – District 30
The grandson of a WWI veteran, attorney Chehab is running to represent a district that covers Utica and parts of Shelby Township and Sterling Heights. He is looking to bring fresh ideas and reform to a seat that has been controlled by the same family for some time.
Debbie Dingell – U.S. Representative – District 12
A member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Rep. Dingell is a leader in efforts to grow manufacturing, improve access to quality affordable health care, support seniors and veterans and protect the Great Lakes. Recognized as one of the 25 hardest-working members of Congress, Dingell is focused on forging bipartisan solutions that support Michigan’s families and economy, including improving long-term care and ushering in the future of the American auto industry, and continues to fight to make education more affordable and accessible.
In July, Rep. Dingell voted against H.Res.246, which condemned the BDS movement as counterproductive to peace efforts in the Middle East. She was one of only 17 members of Congress to vote against the legislation.
Rep. Dingell has been a vocal opponent of U.S. involvement in the Yemen civil war. She championed War Powers legislation to end U.S. involvement in the conflict and has voted multiple times in favor of ending U.S. weapons and logistical support for the Saudi-led coalition.
Rashida Tlaib – U.S. Representative – District 13
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib has worked as a public interest lawyer, which shaped her as a public servant. Tlaib doesn’t back down when someone is harmed or needs their government to work for them. Whether it was standing up to President Trump’s hate at the Detroit Economic Club — getting kicked out of the Trump rally for demanding that he read the Constitution — or winning fights with the Koch Brothers and Marathon Oil over storing toxic waste on our riverfront, she will always put people and community first.
Rep. Tlaib’s work in her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives has been phenomenal and elevated her to the national stage.
Kym Worthy – Wayne County prosecutor
The first African American to serve as county prosecutor in Michigan, Worthy became internationally known for prosecuting former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2008. She has notably taken on massive projects to overhaul the county’s justice system, like clearing the backlog of unprocessed rape test kits in Detroit. She has also teamed up with Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud to restart their own investigation into the Flint water crisis.
Prosecutor Worthy is tough on crime, but is also fair and compassionate. She serves with integrity and transparency and has been recognized as one of the most respected prosecutors in the nation.
Worthy received national recognition for ensuring that thousands of abandoned rape kits are tested and thoroughly investigated.
She launched the first Conviction Integrity Unit in Michigan to ensure that those who are wrongfully convicted are exonerated. She is a tireless advocate for mental health and rehabilitative programs over incarceration.
Eric R. Sabree – Wayne County treasurer
Treasurer since 2016, Sabree is well-known for attempting to find novel solutions to Detroit’s tax foreclosure crisis, with foreclosures going down by 85 percent during his tenure. Sabree is also the chairman of the Wayne County Land Bank. A former lawyer, Sabree has had a long public service career in Detroit.
Wayne County Third Circuit Court. Two open seats (non-incumbent):
Chandra Baker – Wayne County Circuit Court judge
At the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Baker runs the Wayne Arson Reduction Unit and was awarded Prosecutor of the Year 2017-2018 by the International Association of Arson Investigators. She has litigated felonies of all kinds for nearly 12 years.
Nicholas John Hathaway – Wayne County Circuit Court judge
The former Wayne County assistant prosecutor has clenched the endorsements of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Westland Mayor Bill Wild and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, among others. He currently handles cases involving child abuse and neglect as a referee in Wayne County Circuit Court’s Family Division.