Egyptian-American physician loses in historic Democrats' governor race in Michigan

Egyptian-American physician loses in historic Democrats' governor race in Michigan
American-Egyptian Abdul El-Sayed lost a hard-fought race to represent the Democrats in upcoming elections for governor in Michigan.
2 min read
08 August, 2018
Abdul El-Sayed is a progressive politician [Getty]
An Egyptian-American physician has lost in his bid to represent the US Democratic Party in an upcoming race for the governor position in Michigan.

At the time of reporting with 77 of the votes counted, Abdul El-Sayed won 31 percent of the Democrat count, with Gretchen Whitmer on 51 percent, according to Click on Detroit.

But it was Whitmer who was declared winner and will represent the Democrats in the east state's governor election, which will take place in November.

"Michigan was the place that people used to move to from all around the world," she said, according to The New York Times.

Referring to President Donald Trump's bid to build a wall across the border with Mexico, she said "we in Michigan are going to get back to building bridges".

Read also: Palestinian, Muslim, woman - American. Inside Rashida Tlaib's historic run for Congress

Whitmer was considered an establishment candidate for the Democrats, compared to her closest rival El-Sayed, who campaigned on a more left-leaning, progressive platform.

The physician understands well the issue of public health in the US - having served as the Detroit health department's executive director and a professor at a number of leading universities - unlike his rival, he pushed for universal healthcare.

Despite the loss, El-Sayed will undoubtedly take some positives from the hard-fought race.

"What has inspired me most is that, having traveled to over 100 cities statewide - including places where there are few people of colour at all, let alone Muslim-Americans - Michiganders are not asking how I pray, but what I pray for - and what I care about," he told The New Arab earlier.

You can read the full interview with Abdul El-Sayed here.