It’s going to be tough for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed to win the nomination from the party in the race to replace term-limited Rick Snyder this fall.
El-Sayed, who is seeking to become the first Muslim governor in state history, is in third place in most major polls.
The three Democratic candidates on the ballot are El-Sayed, a former executive director of the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion; Shri Thanedar, an author and entrepreneur; and Gretchen Whitmer, the former Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney and former Minority Leader of the Michigan Senate.
Whitmer, the apparent front runner, was endorsed by the entire Michigan Democratic delegation in Washington, D.C. recently, along with many local state representatives and senators.
State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) went against the majority of the party and endorsed El-Sayed anyway.
“Dr. El-Sayed’s robust and bold policy agenda is why I’m throwing my support behind him for governor,” he said. “As state representative from Michigan’s 15th House District, I know that Abdul’s policy provides the solutions Michiganders need.”
Hammoud said those solutions include fixes to health care and education.
“A single-payer system to make health care affordable and accessible, a path to reinvest in our public education system, and a real plan to reduce auto insurance rates and end redlining,” he said. “We need a governor who is willing to tackle these problems head-on, and Abdul is that person.”
Hammoud is in his first term in the state House of Representatives and is running for re-election on the same ballot that El-Sayed will be trying to win the governorship.
El-Sayed said he’s happy to have earned Hammoud’s support.
“I am honored and humbled to receive the endorsement from Rep. Abdullah Hammoud,” he said. “Rep. Hammoud represents the future of our party and our state, and his leadership on issues like auto insurance reform and environmental racism has made him an indispensable advocate for justice in Lansing”
While El-Sayed has other endorsements, Hammoud’s is the first from a sitting elected official.
El-Sayed is a Rhodes scholar, physician and public health expert who, as Detroit’s health commissioner, launched a program to ensure every child who needed one got a pair of glasses.