He’s been called the new Obama. Abdul El-Sayed, a 33-year-old doctor and health policy expert, has never held elected office. But he’s running to be governor of Michigan — and if the size of his rallies is anything to go by, this charismatic and progressive insurgent could pull off a huge upset in the Democratic gubernatorial primary on August 7.
The former director of Detroit’s Health Department, El-Sayed supports “Medicare-for-all,” making college tuition-free, and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He’s been endorsed by both Sen. Bernie Sanders and democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the shock winner of the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District, who has come out to Michigan to campaign for him.
So will El-Sayed pull off a shock victory on Tuesday and provide further evidence that the Democratic Party is shifting more and more to the left? And if he wins the primary, what are the odds of him going on to become America’s first-ever Muslim governor? I went to Detroit to find out.