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Elections 2012: Dearborn's 19th District Court

Two candidates are vying for one open spot on the district bench.

On Nov. 6, Dearborn voters will choose their next judge to serve in the 19th District Court.

The general election sees incumbent Judge Richard Wygonik facing off against Dearborn attorney Sam Salamey for the spot.

A third candidate, attorney Candyce Abbatt, was eliminated in the primary election in August.

Wygonik has served in the court since 2005, when he was appointed to the bench by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. He was elected by Dearborn voters in 2006 and appointed chief judge at the beginning of 2012. Before that, he worked as an attorney for more than 30 years–founding his own partnership. In addition, he has sat on the executive board of the Michigan Association for Justice for over 10 years and is an active member in the Dearborn Pioneers Club.

His major endorsements include former 19th District Court Chief Judge Leo K. Foran, the Police Officers Association of Dearborn, Dearborn Firefighters and the Greater Detroit Building and Construction Trades Council PAC.

Salamey has been the prosecuting attorney for Romulus and Garden city. He is currently the senior attorney at Salamey & Farhat, PLLC; chairs the City of Dearborn Board of Ethics; and serves as a magistrate for the 19th District Court.

His major endorsements include Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly and Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko.

Learn about the candidates on Patch

Eugene October 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Wow, Salem is going to give 5% of his pay. That's pretty admirable when you make over a million dollars owning all your gas stations. Maybe your buddy O'Reilly can manage one after his election next year. Dearborn voters are smarter than that. The only reason big Jack is supporting Salem is to get the Arab vote next year. Do we want independence or O'Reilly controlling more of our money! Can you even imagine the back room deals?????
Donna Hay October 17, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Thanks for all the helpful info you are providing on the election Jessica!!
DearbornMatters October 17, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Im sure Wygonik would have rejected the mayor's endorsement if it was given to him, right? I DONT THINK SO. Wygonik is doing an inadequate job and O'Reilly along with the rest of the voters are sick of picking up the tab. Who is really running the court?
Dearborn Taxpayer October 17, 2012 at 05:02 PM
With Boss O'Reilly throwing his support behind Salemey, I'll be sure to vote for the other guy even if he was appointed by our former and inept Gov. Granholm. Why do sitting mayor's feel the need to make endorsements of candidates in the other branches of government? It's all about enhancing their political power. How sad and telling it is that they don't simply choose to remain neutral in these races.
Lee Jacobsen October 17, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Let's see, during the primaries, while I was at the Dearborn High school voting location on a hot Aug day, with the common man's rough but running Packard, Salemey pulled up in his Mercedes, waved to his supporters from the back seat, smiled, and went on his way. Wygonik later pulled up in his USA made SUV, popped the tailgate, got out, and personally handed out sandwiches and water to all the supporters of all the candidates, not just his own, including Salemey's . He didn't have to do that. It was a small thing, but guess what? It showed me he cared about people, even those against him, and fairness and consideration of all folk no matter what their views is what a judge is all about. Perhaps it wasn't his fault that Granholm is inept, but she is gone, and his actions speak louder than politicial speak, for me at least.
Sherry Maironis November 06, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Good luck Sam Salemey. I know you are the right person for the job. Help clean up the mess at the 19th District.

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