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Abdul El-Sayed

Abdul El-Sayed
Bridge Magazine

The state says now is not the time to rule on whether a candidate for governor is eligible to run.  

That could mean the question will wait until after Democratic voters make their choice in the primary.

The state constitution says a candidate for governor must have been a registered voter in Michigan for at least four years before the election.

Democratic hopeful Abdul El-Sayed voted in New York in 2012, and the question is whether that invalidated his Michigan voter registration until he re-registered here in 2016.

Abdul El-Sayed
Bridge Magazine

Abdul El-Sayed shows no sign of backing away from a feud with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan over the city’s building demolitions program.

The Democratic candidate for governor again slammed the program in a statement Friday, capping several days of verbal sparring with Duggan’s office. The back-and-forth followed El-Sayed’s appearance on Michigan Radio’s Stateside this week, when he said Detroit’s sweeping demolition blitz under Duggan was “poisoning kids with lead up until this year.”

dr abdul el sayed behind a desk
Abdul for Michigan

This week, Stateside is interviewing the Democratic candidates for governor ahead of their party’s 2018 State Endorsement Convention. The gubernatorial candidates will face off in the August primaries.

Abdul El-Sayed is the former director of the Detroit Health Department. His campaign has been a little bumpy - late last month, he asked a court to rule if he's eligible to run after some elections law experts claimed he might not be.

Road in need of repair.
Peter Ito / Flickr

Gov. Rick Snyder says it's time to raise the federal gas tax to fix Michigan's disintegrating roads. Snyder says the state has done its part by increasing fees and fuel taxes, and local governments have come up with their own ways to increase revenue. Now, he says its the federal government's turn to step up.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether that's a realistic expectation.


dr abdul el sayed behind a desk
Abdul for Michigan

Democratic candidate for governor Abdul El-Sayed has asked a court to rule if he's eligible to run, after some elections law experts said he probably isn't. 

El-Sayed, a Michigan native, lived in New York from 2011 to 2016. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The four Democrats vying become Michigan’s next governor talked public education and public sector jobs at a union-sponsored town hall in Detroit Tuesday night.

Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar, and Bill Cobbs largely agreed on the issues.

All agreed that teachers are underpaid, under-valued, and that arming them is not the answer to school shootings.

Michigan State University sign
Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Michigan State University's interim president and former Gov. John Engler has appointed an interim athletic director and said that no candidates from MSU would be considered for the permanent job. He has also ordered MSU staff to preserve anything that could be evidence for various sexual assault investigations.

Abdul El-Sayed’s did not have a good week. And it’s not looking like it’s going to get better any time soon.

El-Sayed has captured the imagination of progressives who think he can bring a liberal agenda to Lansing and become the nation’s first Muslim-American governor. This past weekend, at a Democratic forum for Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates in Washtenaw County, there was a throng of excited folks all waiting to talk to him.

Tamekia Ashford / Detroit Health Department

The Abdul El-Sayed campaign for governor is alleging that there are racist motivations behind questioning whether he is eligible for office because he lived outside the state and was registered to vote in another state.

Abdul El-Sayed
Bridge Magazine

It looks like Dr. Abdul El-Sayed will comply - grudgingly - with the Michigan Democratic Party's request that he get a court ruling saying he's eligible to run for governor of the state of Michigan.

El-Sayed's initial response to a recent Bridge Magazine article questioning if he was eligible to run for governor was to attack it as politically motivated.  He said political insiders were trying to eliminate the best candidate.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Despite recent chatter concerning Democrat Abdul El-Sayed’s eligibility to run for governor of Michigan, the doctor and former Detroit health director remains confident.

“We’re 100% confident that I’m eligible to run for governor and to serve as governor of the state,” El-Sayed told host Cynthia Canty.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed wants to become Michigan's next governor. The Democrat's bid has attracted attention from around the world.

The British newspaper The Guardian has dubbed him "the next Obama."  And recent polling shows El-Sayed is the strongest competitor to Gretchen Whitmer for the slot of Democratic front-runner.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

As Michigan gets ready to vote for governor in November, Bridge Magazine is also preparing. They’re gearing up for the Truth Squad to keep candidates accountable.

John Bebow, president of the Center for Michigan, which publishes Bridge Magazine, joined Stateside to discuss what’s ahead for the journalism outfit.

Listen above for the entire conversation.

water going into cup from faucet
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

One candidate for governor says Michigan’s failure to provide clean, affordable water to all epitomizes its “political dysfunction.”

Abdul El-Sayed said this applies to the Flint water crisis, and to ongoing mass water shutoffs in Detroit--and there’s “pretty good evidence” the latter is also causing a “public health crisis” in Detroit.

El-Sayed is a Democrat, and a medical doctor. He was also the city of Detroit’s health department director.

We are now a year away from Election 2018. It’s the time when the concept of who a candidate might be is starting to create the reality of who that candidate will be.

We are in the period of time when candidates running for office in 2018 are trying to solidify their status as the front-runner, figuring out who’s got that all important political momentum.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s gubernatorial election is still 14 months away, but the field of candidates is growing quickly.

A whopping 20 people have filed with the Secretary of State so far: six Republicans, seven Democrats and seven third-party candidates. And that number is expected to grow before the April 2018 filing deadline.

dr abdul el sayed behind a desk
Abdul for Michigan

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.

Abdul El-Sayed talks to a voter.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed made a campaign stop in Kalkaska Tuesday night, where he spent an hour speaking to a group of about 25 people. Kalkaska made national news this summer for the Islamophobic views of its' village president, Jeff Sieting. El-Sayed is Muslim, and attendees were happy that he still chose to visit Kalkaska. Danielle Seabolt is the Chair of the Kalkaska County Democrats, who hosted El-Sayed:

Former Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer was just one of a number of Democrats at Detroit's annual Labor Day parade.
Whitmer for Governor

Detroit’s annual Labor Day parade attracted the usual mix of union members, activists and political candidates this year.

Those candidates included three of the Democrats running for governor.

Former state Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer has lined up most of the big labor support statewide. She met and marched with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, among others.

After this week, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of what the 2018 governor’s race will look like in Michigan.

In just a little more than a year, Republicans and Democrats in Michigan will choose their candidates for governor in the August primary. Governor Rick Snyder is term-limited so, it’s a wide open field.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee's decision to stay out of the Democratic race for Michigan's governor makes the field a little less crowded, but there's still competition for a spot on next year's ballot. 

Last week, Stateside spoke with Democratic candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the former head of the Detroit Health Department.

Today, Gretchen Whitmer joined the show. Whitmer served for 14 years in the Michigan House and Senate, including four years as Senate Minority Leader. She was the interim prosecutor for Ingham County during the last half of 2016. She kicked off this year by announcing her run for governor in 2018.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

I spent an hour the other morning with a newcomer on the political scene, one of the most brilliant and charismatic candidates I’ve ever met.

Let’s imagine for a moment that his name is Andy Smith. Make Andy the son of completely legal immigrants who enthusiastically embraced everything American. As a boy, he went to one of the best public high schools in Michigan, where he was the captain of the football, the wrestling and lacrosse teams, and then played lacrosse in college.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Congressman Dan Kildee's decision to not seek the Democratic nomination for governor has changed the playing field for existing and potential candidates.

And that includes Dr. Abdul El-Sayed.