Candidates for Hamtramck Election Begin Campaigning


By Simon Albaugh – Yemeni American News


HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – The city’s election season has officially started, with Mayor Majewski seeking re-election, eight seeking a slim number of council seats, and one group looking to stick to the issues.

Registration for Hamtramck Mayor and City Council candidates has closed as of 4pm tuesday, leaving five candidates for mayor and eight candidates for the three open city council seats.

Hamtramck City Clerk August Gitschlag says that this may not end up being the official list, as candidates still have time to withdraw their candidacy if they want to. With Mayor Karen Majewski’s surprise candidacy, Gitschlag says the withdrawal deadline may impact the final candidate list.

“There is a withdrawal deadline of next Friday at 4pm, and I expect that to play a part,” Gitschlag said.

The candidates for Hamtramck Mayor as of yesterday are:

  • Saad Almasmari: Currently an appointed City Councilmember who has served on Hamtramck’s City Council before.
  • Amer Ghalib: A local physician who was the first to announce his candidacy for Mayor.
  • Gjon Ulaj: The publisher of the Hamtramck Review, a local newspaper in Hamtramck.
  • Asm Rahman: A former Hamtramck Mayoral Candidate and active voice in the Hamtramck Community
  • Karen Majewski: The current Mayor of Hamtramck and owner of Tekla Vintage clothing store.

For Hamtramck City Council, the candidates are:

  • Muhith Mahmood: President of the Michigan Bangladeshi American Democratic Caucus
  • Cody Lown: A local K-12 Teacher for Detroit Public Schools
  • Lynnette Blasey: A Community Arts Partnership Coordinator for the College for Creative Studies.
  • Adam Albermaki: An engineering student at Wayne State University.
  • Amanda Jaczkowski: A Public Administration Master’s Student at Wayne State University.
  • Abu Ahmed Musa: A former Hamtramck City Councilmember.
  • Khalil Refai: President of Yemerican Political Action Committee.
  • Armani Asad: A local artist in Hamtramck.

The election will be held on Aug. 3. Many candidates have already officially begun their campaign with announcements through Hamtramck’s community forums. Khalil Refai, who announced his campaign in late March has already created statements on his campaign, deciding to focus on community involvement in local politics, among other priorities.

Other candidates, like Amanda Jaczkowski and Cody Lown, have opted for focusing on civic projects. Recently, Jaczkowski and other women in Hamtramck collaborated on suggested language for an ordinance on street harassment. The group has made the suggestions publicly available and will bring them to next week’s city council meeting.

One group outside of this year’s election has expressed a desire to keep this year’s election on the issues.

All in for Hamtramck organizer Shaffwan Ahmed says that in past elections, the process has not always led to change or improvements to the city. The group’s efforts, according to past interviews with the organizers of All in for Hamtramck, will be directed toward a focus on the issues, rather than the “drama” that comes from election season.

“We’re pretty much spinning our wheels in place, every election at times,” Ahmed said. “We’re not seeing a lot of changes, and we get a lot of new candidates and new drama pops off.”