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Abdullah Hammoud voted first Arab-American and Muslim mayor of Dearborn

blue graphic with photo of Abdullah Hammoud announcing his victory as Dearborn mayor

The City of Dearborn has elected its first Arab-American and Muslim mayor.

State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) defeated opponent Gary Woronchak 54.8% to 45.2% based on preliminary results Tuesday.

He opened his victory speech Tuesday night with a dedication to "any young girls or boys who have been ridiculed for their faith or ethnicity."

"For those of you who were ever made to feel that their names were unwelcome and to our parents and to our elders and to others who are humiliated for their broken English and yet still persist today is proof that you are as American as anyone else," Hammoud said.

Hammoud beat Woronchak — another former state representative— by a wide margin to become only the 7th mayor the city has had in its nearly 100-year history.

“The people of Dearborn spoke loudly. They want change and bold leadership to tackle the challenges we face,” Hammoud said via a press release. “Our campaign united the city behind thoughtful solutions that will deliver the city government Dearborn deserves. We live in the greatest city in America and I’m excited about what we can achieve together when we rally around a common vision.”

Hammoud announced his candidacy for mayor in January while serving in his third and final term as a state representative for Michigan's 15th District. He won the August primary with 42.01% of the vote.

Hammoud's parents immigrated from Lebanon. According to The Associated Press, "Dearborn is a city of about 100,000 people that has one of the largest Arab American populations in the nation. But the city's past includes efforts by longtime segregationist Mayor Orville Hubbard to keep Black families from moving into the then-mostly white community."

Beenish Ahmed is Michigan Public's Criminal Justice reporter. Since 2016, she has been a reporter for WNYC Public Radio in New York and also a freelance journalist. Her stories have appeared on NPR, as well as in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, VICE and The Daily Beast.
Jodi is Michigan Public's Director of Digital Audiences, leading and developing the station’s overall digital strategy.
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