Dearborn Mayor O’Reilly Faces Challenge

DEARBORN, MI — Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. will square off with a few familiar faces in August’s primary election. City Council President Pro Tem Thomas Tafelski is challenging him for the seat along with resident Edward Binkley, whom O’Reilly soundly defeated in 2013. Businessmen Hakim Fakhoury and Jim Parrelly are also in the race.

O’Reilly has held the office since 2007. He served as president of the Dearborn city council for 17 years prior to taking the top spot. O’Reilly has a long history of public service and has worked as a district director for U.S. Congressman John Dingell and a chief of staff in the Michigan state senate.

Tafelski, meanwhile, was elected to his fourth term on city council in 2013. According to his city of Dearborn profile, he previously served as council president from 2007 to 2013. Tafelski is a lifelong Dearborn resident who graduated from Fordson High School in 1988 and is a member of numerous Dearborn civic groups.

Binkley ran against O’Reilly in 2013 and garnered 18 percent of the vote in the general election. He told the Dearborn Patch he wasn’t sure what to expect in the race.

“I honestly thought I would receive 100 votes,” Binkley said in 2013 after the primary election in which he mustered just 8.9 percent of the vote. “I had no money for political signs or campaigning, other than passing out business cards.”

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The mayor’s race isn’t the only one that will be on the Aug. 8 ballot. A number of new faces are vying to for a seat on city council.

Incumbents Robert Abraham, David Bazzy, Susan Dabaja, Brian O’Donnell and Michael Sareini are seeking re-election. They are being challenged by Ziad Abdulmalik, Nada Al-Hanooti, Fayrouz Bazzi, Erin Byrnes, Sharon Dulmage, Regan Ford, Sean Green, Rifaat Hacham, Ramez Haidar, Leslie Herrick and Kenneth Paris. The primary will narrow the field down to 14 for November’s general election.

Hoping to take the city clerk’s position are former state Rep. George Darany, John Joseph Schimizzi, Nofila Haidar, Ameer Yousef Abusalah and Adam Alee.

Former Dearborn City Clerk Kathleen Buda resigned last year amid a Michigan State Police investigation. She was charged earlier this year with embezzling money, larceny and misconduct in office.

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