|Abdul El Sayed, with his wife|
By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)
Abdul El-Sayed is running for Governor on the Dem side, hoping to beat Gretchen Whitmer and the rest of the field on his path to taking over Michigan's executive branch.
El Sayed, a Doctor, is new to politics, he's never held elected office before and is the former Director of the Detroit Health Department.
When he recently announced he had raised over $1 million for his campaign, people took notice.
Much of El Sayed's money is coming from out of state though, around 40% of it.
Why is the money making its way to Michigan? El Sayed would be America's first Muslim Governor, and some Democrats are immensely excited about his chances.
According to Jonathan Oosting of the Detroit News:
"The El-Sayed campaign reported more than 2,000 contributions of less than $200. More than $625,000 came from Michigan residents, while out-of-state donors kicked in roughly $409,000, according to a review by The Detroit News.
Twenty-seven individuals gave El-Sayed a maximum allowable contribution of $6,800. Those top donors include West Bloomfield Township physicians Shareef Ahmed and Wael Hakmeh, Natural Justice nonprofit director Johanna Von Braun of New York and tech executive Sohaib Abbasi of California.
It’s not surprising that El-Sayed is attracting out-of-state money “because there is interest in his being potentially the first Muslim governor” in the country, Demas said."
Whether or not he can beat Gretchen Whitmer remains to be seen, but don't count El Sayed out by any means. He could be the Bernie to Whitmer's Hillary, that's why Whitmer has aggressively been courting her liberal base for months, a section of the electorate El Sayed can still compete for in a major way.
U of M Board Of Regents Chairman Mark Bernstein recently endorsed Whitmer instead of running himself, and what Geoffrey Fieger will do is still unclear.
Not to be outdone by Whitmer, El Sayed, or anyone else, Ann Arbor businessman Shri Thanedar recently wrote himself a warchest of $3 million, making him an instant threat to compete for the nomination.
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com