Municipal elections in Michigan occurred on November 7th; and there were no major surprises. All mayors in the cities of Dearborn, Detroit, and Hamtramck housing the largest Arab and Muslim American community outside the Middle East, retained their seats. The results of the elections brought renewed confidence in the municipalities in this recent election.
The Yemeni American News
Voters, by virtue of the results in favor of the previous presidencies, as if they assure the winners that the opportunity is still to offer a better experience than the previous years with the continuation of the previous tender on the level of continued development of local development projects. However, voters still welcomed new faces to the political arena in all the three cities.
The Yemeni American News witnessed the hard fought elections and did extensive media reports on the races, informing readers on the issues and candidates. On election night, the newspaper interviewed supporters of both the winning candidates and the losing candidates.
In the city of Dearborn, voters renewed confidence in the current Mayor O’Reilly, who won by nearly 2781 votes beating challenger Council President Pro Tem Tom Tafelski, and not only in the east section in the city as expected but also the west. The Dearborn voters also renewed their confidence in their first Arab and Muslim women council President Susan Dabaja and electing Mike Sareini as the city’s new President Pro Tem. Ibrahim Abdullah, a Yemeni American Dearbonite who voted for O’Reilly said that “He [the mayor] has a reputation and a name with a history, especially in the Arab community; therefore I do not see that there was a need to be a change especially that challenger Tafelski did not share anything with us. “
While the voter “John” voted for “Tafelski” because – as he said, “it would restore the city to the ‘beautiful era’. John said that he agreed with Candidate Tafelski that “the city was kidnapped, and went in another direction. John also says that there was a low turnout but also mentioned that the mayor’s reputation were instrumental in winning his another term as mayor. In his first speech following the announcement of his victory, Mayor O’Reilly thanked all those who voted for him and praised all those who worked in his campaign.
The elections in the city of Hamtramck were no surprise. Current Mayor Majeski won over her rival current Councilman Mohamed Hassan. Current council members Andrea Karpinski and Ian Perrotta retained their seats while the new comer to city council was Iraqi American Fadel Almarsoumi. Voter Mohammed Joshi, a Bangladeshi American, gave his voice to Mohamed Hassan; because – he says he believed Hassan was qualified and experienced and considered the loss of his candidate “unexpected. Ali Albaadani, a Yemeni American, defended his candidate, the current mayor and said that she is best suited for the job.
In Detroit, nearly no one expected Mayor Duggan to lose as he swept the entire city beating Coleman Young Jr. Duggan was under major attack by Young that developments were only happening in some parts of the city (Downtown, midtown) but Duggan was able to get the confidence of the Detroiters for another term. Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, district 5 councilwoman was able to retain her seat, edging her challenger by only 413 votes.
Mohammed Alsufi, a Yemeni American Detroiter said “we voted for Mayor Duggan because he restored hope to the city through the change we have all witnessed since his election four years ago.” His neighbor, Jonathan’s mother supported the candidate Coleman Young because she believed his platform was inclusive to everyone in the city. In his first speech after the announcement of his victory, Mayor Duggan thanked all those who worked with him, stressing his continued progress in the implementation of his plan to reform and restore the spirit of the city in fulfillment of the promises made during his campaign.