Few sign up for election

By Charles Sercombe
Some familiar names have entered this year’s city council race.
As expected, the three incumbents, Anam Miah, Abu Musa and Saad Almasmari are seeking re-election.
Former councilmember Mohammed Hassan and former city clerk Robert Zwolak are among the familiar challengers. Other candidates include Nayeem Choudhury, Carrie Beth Lasley, Mohammed Alsomiri and Justin Jessop.
Candidates who decide to back out of the election had until today, Friday (April 26) to withdraw. The Review went to press on Thursday.
A primary election will be held on Aug. 6 to whittle the nine candidates down to six. If at least three candidates drop out by Friday (April 26), there will not be a need for a primary election.
The top three vote-getters in the November General Election will serve four-year terms.
Hassan decided to seek the mayor’s job two years ago instead of attempting re-election to the council. Mayor Karen Majewski easily cruised to a fourth term, beating Hassan by a little over 700 votes.
Zwolak served as city clerk in the 1980s, and then also served on the Charter Revision Commission in the 1990s.
He has remained active in local politics and is a regular attendee at city council meetings.
Choudhury lost his bid for city council two years ago.
Lasley has been a frequent critic of city officials.
Whoever serves on the council will have some challenging issues to face. The city is bracing for a shock to its budget this coming year, when GM is expected to shut down its Poletown Plant.
GM pays about $850,000 a year to the city in lieu of property taxes.
One way the city may save money is to turn the police and fire departments into a public safety department (which would cut down a number of employees), or else to contract fire services with Detroit.
Neither of those two proposals have yet been acted on or even discussed at length.
Candidate Lasley has gotten out in front of this issue, and is already campaigning against both proposals. She is insisting the city has to keep both departments intact and separate.
April 26, 2019

3 Responses to Few sign up for election

  1. Fatema Hossain

    April 27, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Mohammed Hassan, an engineer, and graduate of the University of Chittagong in Bangladesh, is expected run a vigorous campaign. He lost for mayor in 2017 against Karen Majewski by over 20 percentage points despite major electoral gains by Muslim candidates within Hamtramck in the preceding election cycle of 2015.

    The Bangladeshi-American Political Action Committee, led in significant part by the efforts of Rabbi M.D. Alam, is expected to encourage both voter registration and voting this election cycle to avoid the debacle of November of 2017 when all Bengali candidates were defeated despite a strong electoral showing in the August 2017 primary election.

    Councilman Anam Miah and Carrie Beth Lasley find themselves as opponents in the August 2019 primary after they had opposed each other previously when Lasley complained that Miah was a “defaulter” under the City Charter as he allegedly did not timely tender property tax allegations owed on a Detroit realty investment – and therefore he could not hold public elected office in Hamtramck. Then-City Attorney John Clark dismissed the argument that Miah was a defaulter and Miah retained his City Council seat.

    Both Nayeem Choudhury and Lasley have already organized their respective campaign activities and have actively personally campaigned this election cycle.

  2. Dennis Nowak

    April 27, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Let’s hope we do not see any allegations in 2019 as in past of voter fraud shenanigans or tax delinquencies clouding the primary or general elections:




    In the 2013 election there were accusations of vote fraud involving absentee ballots that resulted in the criminal case filing and later plea-based convictions of four local residents of unauthorized possession of an absentee ballot. One of those convicted was a City Council candidate.

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