Who’s running for State House in the Wayne County primaries

Voters in Michigan’s 3rd, 8th and 9th State House districts will see just one incumbent and many new faces in the Aug. 2 primary ballot.

In the 3rd House District in Dearborn, three Democratic candidates who would be newly elected are vying for the seat currently held by Representative Shri Thanedar, a Democrat who is running for Congress.

The Democratic primary in the 8th House District, which includes parts of Detroit, Hazel Park, Highland Park and Madison Heights, meanwhile, has five candidates. Representative Stephanie Young, a Democrat, currently represents the district but is running for re-election in the state’s 16th district after redrawing the district’s boundaries.

And in the 9th House District, which includes part of Detroit and Hamtramck, incumbent Democratic Representative Abraham Aiash faces a primary challenge of four candidates.

3rd District

Alabas Farhat, Sam Luqman and Khalil Othman, all of Dearborn, are running in the Democratic primary in the 3rd House District. The winner will face Republican Ginger Shearer in the general election.

Farhat, 22, is a labor organizer and policy analyst who works in Wayne County government affairs. Its platform focuses on education, infrastructure and public health. He thinks it’s important to invest in the district’s roads and bridges, as well as its sewer and water infrastructure, and to reverse trends such as public school teachers leaving their jobs. He also wants to address school safety issues.

“This district is the one that needs someone who can pull it together, who can fight for everyone, and who understands the government,” Farhat said in an interview.

Luqman, 39, left a civilian job with the federal government to run for office after 20 years as an activist and community advocate. She is also a real estate agent. She advocated for the families of students with disabilities.

“As an activist in my community for a long time, I realized that making changes from the podium was no longer effective,” Luqman told the Detroit News. “My district is one of the worst examples of environmental injustice in the entire state and probably in the nation. And a lot of the work I’ve done on the environment or even with students and environmental issues social equity, I had had enough.”

Luqman identified issues at the intersection of climate change and infrastructure, such as the major floods that hit Detroit and Dearborn last year, as priorities.

Sam Luqman

Othman, according to his campaign website, immigrated to the United States 17 years ago. He worked a factory job to go to school. In 2012, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree and later earned a master’s degree in cybersecurity from the University of Detroit Mercy, then founded an IT company. He currently volunteers with the City of Dearborn as the Recreation and Parks Commissioner.

Othman’s top priorities include investing in better infrastructure, affordable health care, supporting green infrastructure and rebuilding schools in the district, according to his website.

8th District

In Michigan’s 8th House District, meanwhile, five Democratic primary candidates are vying for a spot on the November ballot: Durrel Douglas, Ernest Little, Mike McFall, Ryan Nelson and David Soltis. There is also a primary race between two Republicans: Robert Noble of Madison Heights and Attie Pollard of Highland Park.

Douglas, 35, of Detroit is a community organizer who has worked on progressive issues for the past decade. He also founded a non-profit organization focused on increasing civic engagement and increasing resources for people on fixed incomes. He said his platform is intended to “increase opportunities for Michiganders,” including residents returning from jail or jail.

“At the end of the day, whether we want to fight crime, whether we want to improve our education scores compared to other states, whether we want to talk about access to resources for seniors – it all comes down to the economy, allowing people to be part of the economy,” Douglas told The News.

Durrell Douglas

Little, of Detroit, could not be reached for comment, but his Facebook page identifies him as a former city building inspector and a realtor and mortgage originator at Rocket Mortgage.

McFall, 46, is the pro tem mayor of Hazel Park. He also works in development for the Troy-based non-profit Williams Syndrome Association.

Mike McFall

In an interview, McFall said he decided to run for the state Legislature after a family member suffered a mental health crisis in 2020 and discovered how difficult it was to find resources for them.

“Our mental health care system here in the state of Michigan is broken. There’s not a lot of preventative care so people don’t end up in crisis mode,” McFall said. “We’re using our justice systems and our police departments to try to deal with our mental health crisis and it’s not working.”

Another top priority of his campaign is to ensure greater revenue sharing for local municipalities across the state: “All of our municipalities are struggling with their budgets, barely making their budgets, and a lot of that is due to the state. They don’t share as much as they once did – and especially when they’re sitting on a surplus.

Nelson, 44, of Detroit is a business owner and executive recruiter who previously served as a congressional aide.

“I run to solve problems and be a tireless advocate for – and to affirm the work, experience and dignity of – every citizen in our district,” he said in an email. “Working hard to do everyday democracy, not politics, will be my goal.”

He vowed to continue meeting with voters from every neighborhood in the district if elected, “because I know that better ideas for solving the tough issues we face will come from our communities, not from the politically few people. well connected to Lansing”.

ryan nelson

Soltis could not immediately be reached for comment.

9th District

Four Democratic candidates are vying to beat incumbent State Representative Abraham Aiyash of Hamtramck in Michigan’s 9th District, which straddles Detroit’s North Side and southeast Oakland County. The winner of the primary will face Republican Michele Lundgren of Detroit in a race the Democratic nominee is heavily favored to win.


State Representative Abraham Aiash (D-Hamtramck)

Aiash’s platform includes policy proposals such as banning facial recognition technology, creating a single-payer Medicaid for All plan in Michigan, proposing legislation mandating pre- Universal Ks for all Michigan students, increasing per-student funding in schools, capping copayments, and investing in green infrastructure, among others.

“I have always put the needs of residents first and focused on the issues that matter to the people of Detroit and Hamtramck: clean air and water, well-paying jobs, secure retirements and safe streets,” Aiash said on his campaign website. “I’m running for re-election in House District 9 because I still believe in a politics of the possible that gives everyone a fair chance at success.”

Aiyash could not be reached for comment.

Among the Democratic candidates challenging Aiash is Darnell Gardner, 63, of Detroit, a military veteran who works at Ford Motor Co.

Darnell Gardner

Gardner said he’s showing up primarily to make sure the community he lives in gets its “fair share” of federal funding from the Biden administration.

“I live in a community that I believe has been denied many of these benefits over the years and these benefits have primarily gone to communities such as the one my holder lives in,” Gardner told The News.

He also wants to work on policy changes regarding gun control.

Detroit’s William Phillips could not be reached for comment.

Abraham Shaw, 55, of Detroit, said in an interview he was running for the House to fight pollution and push back against the use of taxpayers’ money to fund what he sees as corporate giveaways . Shaw, a master automotive technician, has lived in the neighborhood since 1967.

Abraham Shaw

He traces his inspiration to run for office to decades ago, when the city declared the area where he lives a Renaissance Zone, which is a program that provides tax incentives to residents and businesses. It has since seen development proposals abandoned, leaving land vacant for years.

Paul Smith, 29, of Detroit, is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

Smith has served as a mentor for youth in the city and for various nonprofit organizations, including Detroit Parent Network and Volunteers of America. He previously worked as an intern for the city’s Neighborhoods Department and currently serves on the board of directors for Covenant House of Michigan and the state’s Foster Care Review Board.

Paul Smith

“I have a passion for public service. I want to help people, I’ve always wanted to be an elected official and help serve people and solve problems and create solutions for the better,” he said. he declares. The main issues he focuses on, he said, are gun violence and mental health.

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