State Rep. Aiyash bows out; two councilmembers seeking a county seat

State Rep. Abraham Aiyash


By Charles Sercombe
In an unexpected move, State Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) has dropped out of this year’s election.
Aiyash withdrew from the election last Friday, the last day to do so. He was seeking a third term.
He did not respond to email questions from The Review on why he withdrew, or about his plans on what he will do outside the legislature –or, whether he is gearing up for a run for a state senate seat.
Aiyash, however, told the Detroit News that he is pursuing “… more opportunities to serve our communities in different ways.”
However, it was pointed out that Aiyash is likely angling to run for state senator in 2026, and that in order to serve two full terms, if elected, he had to quit his seat as a state representative.
Aiyash serves the 9th District, which includes Hamtramck. He is the first Yemeni-American to be elected to that position. Aiyash also served as Majority Floor Leader, which was another first for an Arab-American.
Aiyash distinguished himself as a champion for expanding LGBTQ civil rights, a position that did not sit well with many in the Muslim community here who are socially conservative.
He also stood out as one of the few Michigan Democrats to urge voters to be “uncommitted” in the recent state Democratic Presidential primary, as a way to protest President Biden’s support of Israel in its invasion of Gaza, which has now resulted in the deaths of 30,000-plus Palestinians.
Biden’s stance alienated a number of Arab Democratic leaders in the state and metro area. Aiyash has still not said whether he will support Biden in November’s election.
Aiyash’s departure leaves the door open for the three remaining Democratic candidates: Tonya Phillips, Ernest Little and Abraham Shaw, who are all from Detroit.
While the 9th District map will soon be redrawn, it will likely remain heavily weighted in favor of Democrats. (It is now the the 7th district.)
The Review reached out to Mayor Amer Ghalib for comment on Aiyash not seeking re-election, and Hamtramck no longer having a resident representing the city in the state legislature, but he did not respond.
Aiyash’s withdrawal comes on the heels of him filing a personal financial disclosure with the state.
In 2022, voters in the state approved a proposal to require state elected officials to file a financial report. Up until this time, Michigan was one of only two states that did not have such a requirement.
But critics say Michigan’s disclosure reports allow elected officials to hold back some information.
The first reports were due April 15.
In Aiyash’s report, he lists his sole income as that coming from his state rep position, but he did not say how much he earned, even though that is public information.
The state’s form says disclosing how much an elected official earns is “optional.”
As Majority Floor Leader, Aiyash earns an extra $10,800 on top of his regular salary of $71,685 as state representative, according to the State Officers Compensation Commission.
Aiyash also listed owning a house at 5008 Yemans, but he did not list its value, which is also optional.
On the other hand, his counterpart in the state senate, Stephanie Chang, listed her salary with the state as $78,685.
In other election news, Hamtramck City Councilmembers Mohammed Hassan and Mohammed Alsomiri are once again seeking to climb up the political ladder by challenging longtime Wayne County Commissioner Martha G. Scott in the upcoming election for her seat.
Scott, 88, has proven to be unbeatable in a number of elections, ever since she entered politics in the 1980s. She has served both as Highland Park mayor and in the state legislature.
Hassan and Alsomiri are running as Democrats even though they, too, urged voters to remain uncommitted in the Democratic Presidential Primary.
Posted May 3, 2024

Updated May 8, 2024: The 9th District is now the 7th District.

One Response to State Rep. Aiyash bows out; two councilmembers seeking a county seat

  1. Shari Bloomquist

    May 4, 2024 at 3:40 pm

    Representative Abraham Aiyash should be congratulated on the work he has accomplished in the Michigan House of Representatives.

    Not only his LGBT advocacy – but also his support of the Gazans under attack. He had taken courageous positions against powerful interests in his own party and some constituents.

    His stark criticism against Judge Alexis Krot when she was under fire and facing a state ethics investigation was also praiseworthy.

    I thank him for his service to his district.

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