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February 26, 2018 | by  | in Politics |
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Diversity in Representation in Michigan State Government

Dr Abdul El-Sayed of Michigan has the potential to become the first ever Muslim governor in the United States of America, come the gubernatorial race in November.

Democratic Candidate El-Sayed will be running against Republican Bill Schuette, the current attorney general of Michigan. In the most recent polls taken in January this year, support sits at 33.5% for El-Sayed and at 37.5% for Schutte, with 26.7% undecided.

El-Sayed is not the only candidate representing a marginalized demographic in the Michigan gubernatorial race. Another Democrat, Gretchen Whitmer, announced her intention to run on 3 January 2017, with pre-election polls placing her ahead of Schuette. If successful, Whitmer would be the second female Governor of Michigan in the state’s history.

Born in Detroit, El-Sayed is an American physician, epidemiologist, and public health expert, and has built his campaign on a platform that emphasises universal healthcare and the rejection of corporate PAC money. El-Sayed was instrumental in rebuilding Detroit’s Health Department as the newly appointed Director of Health, after it was privatised during the city’s bankruptcy in 2013.

Described by The Independent as running a Bernie Sanders-style campaign, El-Sayed states on his campaign website that: “as a doctor, an educator, and a public servant, my work and my life has always been about creating opportunities for real people.”

Dubbed by The Guardian as “the new Obama” in August last year, Sayed’s popularity is expected to grow in the next eight months.

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:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this