Democrat Abboud Enters 2018 U.S. Senate Race
PHOENIX – On Monday, Deedra Abboud, an immigration attorney from Phoenix, became the first Democrat to enter the 2018 race for the U.S. Senate in a bid to unseat incumbent Republican Jeff Flake. Abboud also makes a bit of history by becoming the first Muslim-American in Arizona to run for high office, and the first Muslim-American woman from any state to run for U.S. Senate. If elected, she would also become Arizona's first female U.S. senator.
Abboud says her highest priorities are the issues that face everyday Arizonans.
"Our elected officials are not taking care of our needs," she said. "Our need for health care, equal pay, quality child care and education of our children. I wanted to be among these women in this historical moment to bring Arizonans together."
Abboud is a longtime community leader who runs a consulting firm called the Global Institute of Solution-Oriented Leadership. She founded the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and received the Martin Luther King Award for Diversity from the Human Relations Commissions of Phoenix and Tempe.
Azra Hussain, president and co-founder of the Islamic Speaker's Bureau of Arizona, says she welcomes Abboud's candidacy because she stands for unity in an era when Muslim mosques and Jewish synagogues, cemeteries and schools are facing increased levels of harassment and vandalism.
"I think more people who say that things need to be improved should get up and put their money where their mouth is," Hussain said. "And I'm glad that she's doing it. She is very strong, she's very focused. She has views that are neither extreme in any direction."
A spokesman for the Democratic Party of Arizona had no comment on Abboud's announcement but said the party has had discussions with other candidates who may enter the race.
Kelli Ward of Lake Havasu City, who challenged Flake in 2012, will again compete in the Republican primary.