Green New Deal News

ELECTION 2020: What's on the ballot in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights?

While a record number of voters have requested and returned absentee ballots in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, huge turnouts are expected in person on Nov. 3, as well.

Federal offices

Local voters will get to cast ballots for the next president, as well as several other federal offices.

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U.S. Sen. Gary Peters is facing Republican challenger John James.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-12th District) is squaring off against Republican Jeff Jones and Working Class Party candidate Gary Walkowicz. She beat the same two challengers in 2018.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-13th District) is challenged by Articia Bomer (U.S. Taxpayers Party-Detroit); David Dudenhoefer (R-Detroit), Sam Johnson (Working Class Party-Detroit), and D. Etta Wilcoxon (Green Party-Detroit).

State offices

In local state representative races, voters in the 9th District will have to choose between incumbent Karen Whitsett and GOP challenger James Stephens.

Voters in the 11th District will choose between incumbent Jewell Jones and GOP challenger James Townsend.

Voters in the 13th District are choosing between Democrat Tullio Liberati and Republican Megan Frump in a vacated seat after Frank Liberati (D-Allen Park) was term limited.

In the 15th District, incumbent Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) seeks a third term against challengers Larry Darnell Betts of the Working Class Party and Republican Carla O'Neill.

County offices

Wayne County Commissioner David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) is being challenged by Marc Joseph Sosnowsk of the U.S. Taxpayers Party. He is the only commissioner who represents Dearborn or Dearborn Heights and has a challenger.

The seat was vacated in February by Diane Webb, who left the commission after 11 years to become the superintendent of Redford Township. The commission district includes Redford, Dearborn Heights and a section of southeast Livonia.

Knezek, 34, is a lifelong resident of Dearborn Heights. He grew up the son of a Dearborn Heights police officer and a high school lunch lady. Sosnowski, 64, has lived in the district for 20 years, including 10 years in both Dearborn Heights and Redford Township.

Local races

In Dearborn Heights, City Council members Bob Constan and Lisa Hicks-Clayton are squaring off against each other for the treasurer position. It is a partial term.

Constan, 61, has lived in Dearborn Heights his whole life, and has been a practicing attorney for 32 years. In addition to his law experience, Constan has served as a state representative for Michigan’s 16th District. He also has served with groups, including the Dearborn Area Bar Association, the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce and the Dearborn Kiwanis Club.

Hicks-Clayton, 55, is a 12-year-resident of Dearborn Heights, and has served on the council for the last eight years and cites nearly four decades of experience.

The Crestwood Board of Education will elect two people to openings.

Current Vice President Colleen Krizanic and Trustee Sue Kaminsky are seeking reelection, along with newcomers Zakaria Alhabbal, Mohamad Berri and Mo Sabbagh.

Voters in Dearborn will see two different Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education races. The first will select three full-term candidates and the second will select a fill in for a partial term.

Batoul Baiz, Khodr Farhat, Sharifah Galab, Paul Goddard, Nofila Haidar, Adel Mozip, Mary Petlichkoff and Irene Watts are vying for the full term.

Farhat, 27, has lived in Dearborn for 11 years, since he immigrated to America. He sits on the board of several nonprofit organizations, and does a lot of advocacy work for people. He’s a member of the Dearborn Goodfellows, the LAHC, Key Club, Lions Club, Rotary Club and Educare4All. He has a bachelor's degree in political science and an associate's degree in special education.

Galab, 26, has lived in the city for 22 years. She has a bachelor of science degree in criminology and criminal justice.

Goddard, 51, has lived in the community since 2001. He is a member of the Veterans Network Group (Employee Resources Group at Ford Motor Co.), Ford Motorcycle Club (previous officer, presently just a member, since 2013), acting president of the Ford Mindfulness Club since 2019 (part of Ford’s Employee Recreation Association), a trained mentor in the 19th District Court’s Veterans’ Treatment Court program, a member of the Watch DOGS program at the schools, and previously held numerous positions of leadership within his church. He has five children ranging in age from 12 to 28. He has a bachelor's degree in business management from Brigham Young University, and an MBA from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Haidar, 36, is a lifelong Dearborn resident. She is a member of the Dearborn Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee, a board member of the Dearborn Education Foundation, a member of the School Improvement Plan Committee, the Early Learning Coalition, Dearborn Goodfellows Board of Directors, and as president of the Dearborn Public Schools PTA Council. She has served as a board Member of the ACCESS Hope House in Dearborn. She also has worked as an Americorps Member through the Michigan College Access Network, and is currently serving on the University of Michigan College of Arts, Sciences and Letters Board of Affiliates. Haidar has an associate's degree from Henry Ford College, a bachelor of communications as well as a master of public administration degree from the University of Michigan. She has two children who attend Dearborn Public Schools.

Mozip, 33, has lived in the community for 20 years. He was appointed to the board last year, and has also served on the Dearborn Schools strategic committee in 2016 and 2019, as a member of the Michigan Environmental Justice Work Group, as the AAYSP Michigan Chapter President (2009-2012), Rotary Club of Dearborn Scholarship Committee Co-Chair (2018-2019), chaired the Nominating Committee for the League of Women Voters (2019), secretary and vice president, Eastborn Neighborhood Association, and as a commissioner for the State of Michigan Middle Eastern American Affairs Commission. He has two children in the district: Omar, 10, and Malik, 6.

Watts, 43, has lived in the city for 15 years. She worked as a teacher for 22 years and is the co-chairwoman of the Dearborn City Beautiful Commission and the co-founder of All Things Michigan. She also fundraises for Sparky Anderson’s C.A.T.C.H. charity, Heroes’ Movement veterans organization and volunteers at Zamaan International. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and has two children.

Albert Abbas, Patrick D’Ambrosio, Sabrina Evans-Cummings and Maali Luqman are candidates for the partial term.

Abbas, 44, is a lifelong Dearborn resident and the education committee president for the Dearborn Community Council. He is a graduate of Dearborn High School, the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the University of Phoenix. He has four children:  Hamzeh, 9, Jacob, 7, Zayn, 3 and Mohammed, 10 months.

Evans-Cummings, 54, has lived in Dearborn for about five years. She has previously been a precinct delegate in Detroit and Southfield. She also has served as a board member for Jabari Martial Arts, the vice president of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church head start and Omnicare Health Systems.

Evans-Cummings is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association. She earned her doctorate from Walden University in 2016, and received both a master's degree and an education specialist certificate from the University of Detroit-Mercy. She also graduated from Western Michigan University and attended classes at Henry Ford College. She is married to Lynn, and has five adult children: Tariq, Yushua, Tierra, Janna, and Ashana.

Luqman, 36, has lived in Dearborn for 32 years. She has worked as a teacher and as the associate dean of a college. She earned a bachelors of education from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in international relations from Harvard.

Several other races are on the ballot, but are not contested.

Ballot initiative

Dearborn Heights voters also will be asked to weigh in on a millage renewal. The proposal to renew for 10 years an annual “sanitation millage” of as much as 95 cents for each $1,000 of taxable property value. The measure is expected to raise nearly $1.3 million annually to pay for trash pickup and removal throughout the city of nearly 58,000 residents. City officials said the tax renewal is essential to cover the cost of trash services for some 20,000 households throughout the community’s 11.8 square miles.

“This renewal does not result in any new taxes and will allow the city to continue our recycling programs,” Mayor Daniel Paletko said.