Skinny 2010 Spotlight: Democrat Sami Hamed, Legislative District 27 House of Representatives

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With two open House seats—Rep. Olivia Cajero Bedford is running for the state Senate, while Rep. Phil Lopes is retiring that ol' bow tie—the Democratic primary in Legislative District 27 is a crowded affair. Eight candidates have lined up to be the next state Representatives and Skinny 2010 would like to introduce you to Sami Hamed, a Democrat running his first campaign for public office.

Sami Hamed has a favorite icebreaker when he's talking about his campaign for the Arizona House of Representatives: He may be blind, but he's got more vision that the current Arizona Legislature.

Hamed has not let being legally blind—he can't drive but he can read his BlackBerry—stop him from becoming a player in local politics. He works as an aide to Congressman Raúl Grijalva and can be frequently found on the campaign trail of Democrats such as City Council members Karin Uhlich and Richard Fimbres.

Hamed says assisting constituents for Congressman Grijalva helped him learn the issues and know what people in the district want.

“Even though I won’t get to do much constituent work as a legislator—I’ll get to do very little of it—I think it’s best prepared me to hear the problems and the views of the people, and if elected I’ll carry that with me up to the state House,” he says.

Hamed is making his first run for public office in a crowded field, but he's got the endorsement of Grijalva, which he hopes will help him stand out. He's also got the blessing of the district’s retiring Representative Phil Lopes.