Wayne Co. state House: Political newcomers make waves in Dem primaries

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Correction: An earlier version of this did not recognize Mike McFall as the Democratic winner in the 8th House District.

Detroit — Primary election voters in the state's largest county by population decided between a spate of political newcomers and just one incumbent in Wayne County state House races.

In the 8th House District — which includes parts of Detroit, Hazel Park, Highland Park and Madison Heights — Democrat Mike McFall will face Republican Robert Noble in November.

McFall, 46, works in development for the Troy-based nonprofit Williams Syndrome Association.

Mike McFall

The district is currently represented by Rep. Stephanie Young, a Democrat, but she is running in the state's 16th House District after redistricting changed district boundaries. She won her primary contest in that district.

In the GOP primary, Noble of Madison Heights prevailed over Attie Pollard of Highland Park, 82% to 18%, with 99% of precincts reporting.

In the 3rd House District in Dearborn, labor organizer Alabas Farhat won the Democratic primary and will face Republican Ginger Shearer in the November election. 

Farhat, 22, an analyst who works in government affairs for Wayne County, won 54% of the vote, followed by realt estate agent Sam Luqman with 29%  and IT company founder Khalil Othman with 17%. They were competing for a seat now held by Rep. Shri Thanedar, a Democrat who won the congressional primary for the 13th District.

In the 9th House District, which includes Detroit and Hamtramck, Rep. Abraham  Aiyash won the Democratic primary and will face Republican Michele Lundgren in the fall.

Aiyash garnered 61% of the vote, followed by military veteran Darnell Gardner with 18%; master automotive technician Abraham Shaw with 9%. William Phillips and graduate student Paul Smith each collected 6%. 

Lundgren ran unopposed in the GOP primary.

State Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck)

At First Congregational Church, a polling location on East Forest Avenue in Midtown, James Phillips, 54, of Detroit cast a ballot io re-elect Aiyash, who Phillips said "seemed like a good guy."

In this election, Phillips' top issues were women's rights, voting in favor of a 10-year renewal millage for the Wayne County jail, and curbing gun violence.

Meanwhile, Dwayne Love of Detroit was trying to gather some information about the issues and candidates he would find on the ballot before heading to his polling place on the city's northwest side.

"Blight is heavy on the list," he said of his top issues as a voter. "Getting the grass cut. Vacant houses."

He typically votes Democratic, but he said he's open to hearing from GOP candidates — although he said he hadn't seen any outreach from them in his neighborhood.

Brian Obot of Detroit was voting at Adams Butzel Recreation Complex on the city's northwest side. The economy, jobs and inflation were the main issues he was focused on, as well as community development efforts within the city.

“As opposed to everybody moving out, what are we going to do to make life good for the people who choose to remain?" he said.


Twitter: @JGrzelewski