Hunt edges Dabaja; Hammoud’s win a milestone for Dearborn
By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Attorney Gene Hunt and healthcare consultant Abdullah Hammoud won the seats for 19th District Judge and 15th State House District, respectively, in the Nov. 8 general election.
Hunt topped attorney and Dearborn Council President Susan Dabaja in a tight race receiving 17,403 votes to her 16,982 votes.
Both candidates have worked as lawyers within the court system.
Hunt will succeed current 19th District Court Judge William Hultgren who is age-limited and will retire at the end of the year.
Initially the results showed Dabaja winning the seat before the absentee ballots were counted and then Hunt got a second call from a friend letting him know he won.
“It was a cliffhanger all night with a rollercoaster of emotions,” he said during a post-election celebration at Park Place where Hunt’s family and supporters gathered. “When we got the initial news I felt disappointed for me and everyone else, and then after the second update came in I was ecstatic.”
Hunt said he is ready to serve Dearborn further, now as judge.
“I’ll do my best to live up to the faith of the voters and community,” he said. “I will bring my experience and compassion to the bench.”
Dabaja thanked her supporters and will continue to serve as council president.
“I am OK with the results and ill tell you why, because I know we did everything that we could possibly do,” she said. “I am comforted in knowing that I have given everything that I could. We ran a strong, clean, respectful campaign.”
For the 15th State House District seat Hammoud beat out former professional wrestler Terrance Gerin, 21,739 votes to 13,452.
Hammoud will be the first Muslim to represent Dearborn in the state Legislature. He will take over for current state Rep. George Darany who is term-limited out after six years in the House.
“It’s because of the people in this room I was able to be so successful,” Hammoud said following the results. “This is not just for me, its a victory for Dearborn and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Gerin did not return emails by press time.
Voting totals came from a 65 percent voter turnout with 40,116 ballots cast from the 61,829 registered voters in Dearborn.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)