Can this doctor become the 1st Muslim governor in US history?

Democrat Abdul El-Sayed is running for governor of Michigan.

Despite his trepidation, El-Sayed, the son of Egyptian immigrants, is now waging an aggressive campaign to become Michigan’s next governor. If he's successful, he could be sworn in as America’s first Muslim governor in 2019.

A ‘Muslim’ candidate?

El-Sayed bristles at the notion that he's a “Muslim candidate,” calling his faith “irrelevant” to whether or not he is the best person to hold Michigan’s top office.

“I’m not running to be the first Muslim governor of Michigan. I’m running to be the governor of Michigan and I also happen to be Muslim,” El-Sayed said.

El-Sayed remains optimistic about his ability to communicate his message despite the sensitivities surrounding religion in America.

Rethinking the Democratic dogma

“What Bernie has been able to demonstrate for Democrats is that actually telling the truth is going to be about truly and deeply advocating for real people and communities across our state and our country.”

“We look at unemployment numbers, which are relatively low, but if you look at labor participation it has stagnated tremendously over the past decade,” El-Sayed said, “Both Bernie and Trump were tapping in to that reality. I think Bernie with a set of solutions and a focus on solving them, I think Trump with a focus on exploiting them.”

Hitting the road

Thus far El-Sayed has visited 81 cities and 35 counties in the state of Michigan according to his campaign, and embarked on a second listening tour of the state this week, taking a cue from Sanders and Trump who he said were “having conversations with everyone” and “left no voter behind.”