DEARBORN — The long-running Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) has announced its endorsements for the state-wide August primary elections.
AAPAC is the oldest Arab American political organization, established in 1998 and formed by a group of Arab American professionals who set out to organize and encourage the political activities of the Arab American community.
The non-partisan AAPAC encourages Arab American participation in the political process and encourages Arab Americans to vote and run for public office. Members interview candidates to discuss their platforms towards endorsement and the organization lobbies on behalf of the Arab American causes.
The organization continues to attract local Arab American professionals and community activists.
AAPAC members and endorsees have been local civic and political mainstays and the group has been an integral part of local Arab American political activity, inspiring similar Arab American groups to spring up in Metro Detroit.
We urge the voters to turn out in numbers and support the endorsed candidates. Turnout is expected to be low in August, so every vote could make the difference.
— Farah Hobballah, AAPAC president
The organization’s by-laws dictate that two thirds of present members must vote on candidates seeking endorsement. Endorsements occur after thorough discussions, research and interviews.
Not every endorsement is preceded by an interview, especially if the candidate has previously interviewed with the organization, has an open line of communication with the community or has an established record of public service.
AAPAC’s President Farah Hobballah told The Arab American News that its important for voters to come out and participate in this primary election.
“AAPAC members voted to endorse the candidates we believed were most qualified,” Hobballah said. “We urge the voters to turn out in numbers and support the endorsed candidates. Turnout is expected to be low in August, so every vote could make the difference.”
Local voters have some important decisions to make in this August’s primary elections. Citizen-led independent redistricting efforts have created three new State House districts in the Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Detroit areas that have opened up possibilities for a slate of Arab American candidates for key seats.
Here are AAPAC’s endorsements for the Tuesday, August 2 primary election.
Rashida Tlaib, 12th Congressional District
Andy Levin, 11th Congressional District
Portia Roberson, 13th Congressional District
Debbie Dingell, Sixth Congressional District
Gus Tarraf, District 4
Alabas Farhat, District 3
Bilal Hammoud, District 15
Jaime Churches, District 27
Rola Zarife, District 62
Sylvia Santana, District 2
Wayne County Sheriff:
Robert Mijac, Macomb County Commission District 5
Sam Baydoun, Wayne County Commission District 13
David M. Knezek, Jr., Wayne County Commission District 8
Warren Evans, Wayne County executive
Keifer Cox, Third Circuit Court open seat
The best way to find out your exact precinct location, and which candidates and proposals appear on your ballot, is to visit the Michigan Voter Information Center online at mvic.sos.state.mi.us
The Dearborn City Clerk also has detailed precinct maps that show those State House lines at cityofdearborn.org/services/clerk/election-information.
Absentee ballots for the August 2 primary election are now available through local clerks’ offices.
To apply for an absentee ballot, track an absentee ballot or find more information on the election, visit Michigan.gov/Vote.
Voters on the permanent absentee list have been mailed applications by their local clerk, while some clerks may mail applications to all registered voters in their jurisdictions. Whether they have received an application in the mail or not, voters can apply to vote absentee at Michigan.gov/Vote. Voters who have already submitted their application can also track that it has been received and track the mailing of their ballot.
In Dearborn, absentee voter applications are available in both English and Arabic on the city’s website. And now, for the first time, Dearborn voters will have access to Arabic language ballots, including voting instructions, as well as a computerized voting program for those with disabilities.