Activist considers mayoral bid

Dearborn candidacy is in the talking stage

Wednesday, 23 May 2001
Free Press


The leader of Michigan's most influential Arab-American political group is considering a run for mayor of Dearborn.

Abed Hammoud, 35, a Wayne County assistant prosecutor, said Tuesday he is strongly looking at the race to lead the state's ninth-largest city. It is home to the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the country.

Hammoud has until late June to formally announce his plans, but he said he has discussed running with many Dearborn residents.

"I've talked with friends and family and potential supporters," he said. "I can be a good bridge builder because of all my relationships in the community."

Hammoud is the president of the Arab-American Political Action Committee. The group successfully pushed for the defeat of two controversial school bond proposals in past years. And two candidates it endorsed won seats on the school board; one led all candidates.

Arab Americans make up anywhere from 25 percent to 33 percent of the city's residents. But among registered voters, that percentage falls to 17 percent, or about 10,000 out of 59,000 potential voters.

Hammoud stressed, however, that he would run independently of the political action committee and would work for all Dearborn residents.

Hammoud was born in southern Lebanon and moved to France, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering. He worked in France as a project manager for a private business.

He moved to the United States in 1990, and earned a master's degree in business administration and a law degree from Wayne State University while working.

Hammoud now is a member of Leadership Detroit, a training program for up-and-coming local leaders, and works in the trial division of the prosecutor's office.

Hammound, a married father of two, said he will talk about specific issues later, but said he "wants to do what's best for Dearborn."

"I'm worried about the future of all of Dearborn," Hammoud said. "This is not about one group."

Mayor Mike Guido did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment, but has said that he intends to run hard for re-election. Former Police Chief Ron Deziel, who resigned earlier this year, has said he intends to run for mayor.

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