By Charles Sercombe
This year’s mayoral and city council election is now set to go.
As of the end of last Friday, the last day candidates could pull out of the upcoming August Primary Election, 10 candidates signed up for the city council, including incumbents Andrea Karpinski and Ian Perrotta.
Running for Mayor is incumbent Karen Majewski, who is seeking her fourth term. She is facing challengers Councilmember Mohammed Hassan, Asm (Kamal) Rahman and Cathie Gordon.
One of Majewski’s challengers, John Ulaj, the publisher of The Review and the owner of Villa Realty and Associates, where he is also a licensed broker, pulled out of the election on Friday. He was the only candidate to drop out of the election.
Gordon once served on the city council and has been an active critic of Mayor Majewski.
This will be Gordon’s second attempt to win the mayor’s job. She lost out in the August Primary Election four years ago.
Mayor Majewski finished second in that election, but managed to hang on in the General Election.
In the council race, there is an open seat vacated by Hassan, who opted to run for mayor. The council election also features Saiida Miah, the daughter of current Councilmember Anam Miah.
Also running are: Gias Talukder, Mohammed Al-Somirir, Akil Al-Halemi, Nayeem Choudhury, Fadel Almarsoumi, Monzurul Karim and Showkat Choudhury.
Showkat Chowdhury is currently a member of the Hamtramck School Board. If he were elected to council, he wouldn’t be the first to hold dual elected positions. Former School Board President Titus Walters also served on the board and council.
The Primary Election is Aug. 8.
Both the mayor and council terms are for four years. The Primary Election will whittle down the council race from 10 candidates to six. The November General Election will determine the top three candidates who will serve on council.
In the mayor’s race, the Primary Election will reduce the candidates to two for the General Election held in November.
If you are not a registered voter and want to participate in the Primary Election, you must register no later than July 10.
This election year could prove to be historical. There is a chance that the council and mayor’s position will be filled by those of the Muslim faith – which would be a first for an American city.
Two years ago national and international media swooped into town when a Muslim majority was elected to the council.
For decades Hamtramck’s government was dominated by Polish-Americans. The city’s population has undergone a sea change with the arrival of immigrants from Bangladesh, Yemen and Bosnia.
The Poles left in droves in the 1980s and 1990s for the northern suburbs.
It is now believed that a majority of the city’s population is of the Muslim faith. There are now about a dozen mosques in the city and just outside the Hamtramck-Detroit border.