DEARBORN —The Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) has released its list of endorsements for local and statewide candidates in the November election.
AAPAC was created in 1998 by several Arab American professionals and is a non-partisan political organization. The organization urges Arab Americans to exercise their right to vote and run for public office. Members also interview candidates in order to become acquainted with their goals and lobbies related to the Arab American community. The interviews play a key role in which candidates receive AAPAC’s endorsement.
According to AAPAC’s President Farah Hobballah, the candidates must first reach out to AAPAC in writing to seek the endorsement. Members of the organization will then review the background, credentials, and platform of the candidate and conduct screening interviews as necessary to determine if a candidate should be endorsed by AAPAC.
“The whole process starts with reviewing the candidates’ credentials and then interviewing the candidates as needed,” Hobballah said. “And when we interview the candidates we ask them questions that we think matter to our community such as their involvement in issues of importance to us, their professional and political backgrounds and how these backgrounds can contribute to the position they are running for.”
Openness, honesty and having set goals, she said, are the qualities they look for in the candidates. AAPAC also asks extensively about their plans if elected.
“Having goals they want to pursue if they win is really important to us, so that was one of the most common questions we asked them,” she said. “(And) why should we endorse them, what can they bring to the table?”
Once interviews are held, the members of AAPAC collectively share their thoughts and opinions on each candidate. Then the candidates are chosen based on the vote at a general membership meeting noticed up at least one week in advance. Candidates must receive two thirds of the votes to be endorsed.
Hobballah said a significant part of AAPAC’s mission is to increase voter turnout throughout the community. She said voting is a privilege we have as citizens and we should take advantage of and make our voice heard.
“One of the most important things that AAPAC is trying to promote is our community getting out there and voting, even if they are voting for people that AAPAC has not endorsed, the act of voting is what is important,” she said.
She wants community members to know that their vote matters, it can make a difference and it can change the lives of future generations.
Hobballah also addressed AAPAC’s goal in making the voting process as smooth as possible for the entire community with Arabic translations, so it is not viewed by some as a difficult task, which could turn them away from the polls.
AAPAC’s November 2022 endorsements
Gretchen Whitmer (D)
Dana Nessel (D)
Secretary of State:
Jocelyn Benson (D)
Dearborn School Board:
Crestwood School Board (full term):
Crestwood School Board (partial term):
Third Circuit Court:
Non-incumbent positions (vote for no more than five):
22nd Circuit Court:
U.S. Rep. Sixth Congressional District:
Debbie Dingell (D)
U.S. Rep. 13th Congressional District:
Rashida Tlaib (D)
Wayne County Sheriff:
Raphael Washington (D)
Wayne County Commissioner District 13:
Sam Baydoun (D)
Wayne County Commissioner District 8:
David M. Knezek Jr. (D)
Wayne County Executive:
Warren Evans (D)
Michigan House District 3:
Alabas Farhat (D)
Michigan House District 9:
Abrahim Aiyash (D)
Michigan House District 15:
Erin Byrnes (D)
Michigan House District 25:
Kevin Coleman (D)
Michigan House District 27:
Jaime Churches (D)
Michigan House District 57:
Aisha Farooqi (D)
Michigan Senate District 2:
Sylvia Santana (D)
Macomb County Commissioner:
Robert Mijac (D)
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