DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Local community activist and former Michigan Department of State employee Bilal Hammoud announced his candidacy for state representative for the newly drawn 15th State House District, representing West Dearborn and all of Dearborn Heights, for this November’s election.
“I am dedicated to breaking bureaucratic silos and working to bridge gaps between government and the people it serves,” Hammoud said. “This is an opportunity to work cohesively across all levels of government to bring resources back home.”
Hammoud, 25, aims to represent areas previously covered by former State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, elected to serve as Dearborn’s seventh mayor, and State Rep. Jewell Jones (D- Inkster). Jones is currently facing serious charges from a motor vehicle incident along I-96 in Livingston County, including resisting police and intoxicated driving, last year.
The Dearborn and Dearborn Heights area is now slated to fall under entirely new district maps, finalized by the bipartisan Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) in late December. The Commission finalized maps that were supposed to become law on Dec. 31, but its decisions now face a legal challenge, with more challenges expected in the future.
Those finals drafts can be viewed on the MICRC website at Michigan.gov/micrc.
Mayor Hammoud has already vacated his seat and March 1 primary and May 3 general elections have been set to fill the remainder of his term, which ends this year. So far three candidates have announced their intentions to run, Democrats Alabas Farhat and local attorney Jeffrey Pepper and Republican Ginger Shearer, formerly known as Virginia Polk.
Jones has not announced his plans for reelection as of yet.
The area Mayor Hammoud’s vacated seat currently covers, which stretches across most of Dearborn, will most closely resemble the newly drafted District 3. So far, no candidate has announced their intention for that newly drafted district for the November election.
Prior to filing his bid for the Michigan House, Hammoud served as the public engagement associate in the executive office of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, chairing the secretary of state’s Language Access Task Force.
He has previously served as a project manager in Cheboygan, where he worked on revitalizing the city’s downtown and developed strategies to attract new businesses.
Dearborn Heights Mayor Bill Bazzi expressed his support for Hammoud, in a press release sent out by Hammoud’s team.
“During times of crisis when the city has been in need, like during the floods, he showed up, boots on the ground, and led volunteer groups across the city to help struggling families in their home,” Bazzi said. “For years Bilal has promoted community service in our city from food distributions to making sure families have clean water. This stuff is second nature to his character.
“He’s been here, a leader to our city, imagine what he could do as state rep.,” Bazzi added.