By Charles Sercombe
Every election has its odd moments and quirks.
Last Tuesday’s was no exception. One of the most striking things was the number of kids – high school and younger – volunteering to hold campaign signs and pass out literature for some of the candidates.
Hands-down, Kazi Miah had what appeared to be an army of kids – let’s call them “Kazi’s Kids”! If Miah survives in politics, he’s going to have a huge fan base to tap into.
One thing you can say about mayoral candidate Abdul Algazali, he sure likes to display the American flag. Supporters of his mounted large flags – including poles to hold them – on the sides of their mini-vans.
Driving around town or just parked, it was in impressive sight.
And speaking of Algazali, yow, he sure went negative in his advertising. Although it’s not unheard of in Hamtramck elections, in recent years that kind of rhetoric and campaign strategy has been avoided. Algazali actually came out with guns-a-blazing, accusing Majewski of having a “racist agenda.”
Has this been the year of the campaign sign? It seemed like they were everywhere and in all shapes and sizes. Kazi Miah had several different designs and shapes. He as well as Algazali and Mohammed Hassan spent money on super-sized ones.
Fellas, it’s easy to put up signs but it’s heck to go out and take them down. Just saying. By the way, according to the City Clerk’s Office, candidates have until Nov. 16 to remove their signs. Get cracking.
And speaking of signs, adding some comic relief to what seemed like a tense and strenuous day, did you see “Tex” – you know Tex, the guy you see on the street who always wears a cowboy hat – walking up and down Jos. Campau with an old-fashioned sandwich billboard sign for Majewski and council candidate Alan Shulgon?
Well, we saw him and thought it was kind of amusing.
At around 8:30 p.m., about 100 people crowded around City Hall to wait for the election results. They were mostly Bengali and Yemeni men and boys. When the results were released, the jubilation was a little more muted than the evening of the Primary Election when the crowd erupted into cheers and chants.
Back then it was a celebration of a community that tasted total victory.
This time around, there were some cheers but not as much excitement as before. Was it because not all three Bangladeshi council candidates won and that Algazali also lost out?
What’s going to be interesting is what happens two years from now when another three seats on council come up for election. You can bet potential candidates are already mapping out what to do.
Hamtramck could become one of the first American cities with a majority Muslim government. The Detroit Free Press on Wednesday pointed out that Hamtramck already is likely the only city with half of the councilmembers being Muslim.
What’s the significance of this? If you are a political junkie or love to analyze emerging ethnic groups, Hamtramck is a goldmine. Expect to see more local, statewide and national press coverage of this angle in the coming weeks, months and years.