Michigan’s gubernatorial election is still over a year away, and 10 candidates are already in the running, including Attorney General Bill Schuette, who announced his bid yesterday.
That brings the total number of Republican candidates to six — a number that is expected to grow. Four Democrats have announced bids, including former Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer, who many view as the Democratic front-runner.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is another Democratic candidate. The 32-year-old Detroit native has never been elected to any public office, although he served Detroit’s Public Health Director from 2015 to 2017.
The candidate has been on a statewide listening tour in recent weeks, traveling around the state and talking to Michigan voters.
"It means a lot to me that people are sharing their stories with me all over the state," says El-Sayed. "And I'm very thankful to be able to learn and propose policies that deal with the problems that keep people up at night and that they talk about with their families at the dinner table."
Most recently, El-Sayed visited Kalkaska, which has been under fire in recent months after the village president publicly made Islamophobic comments. Although the candidate did not discuss his Islamic faith, he did describe the president’s comments as a failure of leadership.
Listen to El-Sayed's conversation with Stateside's Lester Graham above to hear what he has learned throughout the listening tour, and how he believes his experience as a public servant qualifies him to serve Michigan residents.