Wayne County Commission candidate Sam Baydoun: Southend needs attention


Dearborn – The Yemeni American News

Dearborn realtor Sam Baydoun, who is running for Wayne County commissioner, vowed to address “environmental injustice” issues in the highly polluted Southend of Dearborn.
“The Southend of Dearborn has been neglected for many years. My top priority is to serve all of Dearborn, not just the Southend, but that area in particular needs attention big time,” Baydoun said.
In an interview with the Yemeni American News, he highlighted his ties to the Dearborn community, stressing that he is looking to serve constituents and not seeking prestige or money.
“I’m running because I want to give back to my community. I’d like to take my activism to the next level by representing the residents of Dearborn and Allen Park on the Wayne County Commission,” Baydoun told YAN.
He added that he has been in the community for four decades, since he moved from Lebanon as a teenager.
“I am a Fordson graduate, Henry Ford Community College graduate and Detroit College of Business graduate. I became a real estate agent in 1986 and I am married, I have four beautiful children. I’m very active in the community. I belong to several nonprofit organizations,” he said.
Baydoun says his 32 years of experience in real estate makes him uniquely qualified to serve on the commission.
“They don’t have a real estate broker on the Wayne County Commission,” Baydoun said.
“The Wayne County deals with a lot of real estate transactions in terms of land acquisitions and buying and selling some of the county-owned properties sometimes, so having a real estate knowledge on the commission will only help.”
If elected, Baydoun would become the first Arab American from Dearborn on the commission. In 2014, the former mayor of Wayne city Al Haidous was elected as Wayne County commissioner.
According to Baydoun, the stakes are high for the local community in this election. He noted that the county is responsible for many policies that impact residents directly, including maintaining main roads. He said he himself has been the victim of tire-wrecking potholes.
“Being on the County commission for someone from Dearborn who’s on a daily basis talking to people and understanding their issues I think would be a great asset,” he said.
Baydoun has the backing of Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly. He has also been endorsed by the man he is trying to succeed – outgoing commissioner Gary Woronchak, who is seeking a seat in the State Senate.
Baydoun said his relationship with the mayor predates his involvement in politics. He has worked with O’Reilly on issues related real estate, including eliminating the escrow policy, which he said was “the catalyst for turning the real estate market around.”
“If you bought a property from a bank in the city of Dearborn you would have had to put a huge amount of money in escrow in order to transfer the property,” he said. “It was creating an obstacle for homeowners, for realtors, to buy these homes. The Mayor realized all of this, we worked together, we came up with a solution and the escrow was eliminated.”
Baydoun praised O’Reilly’s leadership, saying that when he backed him in the mayoral race last year, he had not decided to run for county commissioner.
The real estate agent discussed his campaigning efforts, saying that he is knocking on doors and receiving a lot of support from community members.
“I had over 600 people in our kickoff campaign,” he said. “That speaks volumes that Sam Baydoun has been involved… I’m very grateful and very appreciative of this great community.”
Baydoun will face off against Navy veteran and former State Rep. candidate Brian Stone in the August primaries.
“I did outraise my opponent by quite a bit,” Baydoun told YAN.
He urged the community to come out and vote, noting that the election will be decided in the primaries because Dearborn and Allen Park’s seat on the commission is a safe Democratic spot.
“August 7th is the primary date. There are two Democrats running for the Wayne County Commission and if you believe in Sam Baydoun and what he has done for the last three decades in the city of Dearborn I’m asking for your support,” he said.
He also said that his door is always open and encouraged residents to reach out to him.
“I need you to come out and vote on August 7th. If you’re planning to travel overseas you can walk into the city of Dearborn and vote absentee. Our race is determined on August 7th, if I win on August 7th the race is over, there’s no opponent running against a democrat in November. There’s no Republican running in November. Voting is a very serious matter. I would like to be your voice on the County Commission and I hope I can earn your trust.”