Chaldean American competes in Michigan primaries, kicks off campaign with fundraiser

By Natasha Dado
WEST BLOOMFIELD — Southeast Michigan’s Chaldean community is significant with an estimated 121,000 residing in the region, but to date no Chaldean has reportedly served in the state legislature. That could all change if Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Klint Kesto is successful in his bid for republican state representative serving the 39th district which represents all of Commerce Township, Wixom and the western half of West Bloomfield Township. On Tuesday Chaldeans rallied in support of Kesto during a fundraising dinner for his campaign at the Shenandoah Country Club here. Kesto’s background in business and law are a plus, and has drawn attention from voters.

He’s a graduate of Wayne State University Law School. As an attorney he’s handled cases involving assault with intent to murder and embezzlement. Serving as a prosecutor has given him the opportunity to observe the effects of legislation daily, and understand the law which would benefit him in Lansing. Kesto says he’s the only candidate in the race who’s an attorney. The current incumbent is running for Oakland County Clerk. “I think Klint has a lot of strong business values. He comes from a family of small business owners. That background along with his assistant prosecuting background is an excellent combination, ” West Bloomfield resident Derek Dickow said.

In high school Kesto helped run his family’s businesses. Chaldean and Arab Americans are widely known for transforming metro-Detroit through entrepreneurship “We sustain the economy here in Michigan. We provide the jobs,” Kesto said speaking about business owners.

He’s a strong believer in family values, and pro-life. Two issues Kesto is prepared to tackle are job creation and public safety. Education reform is another item on his agenda. He discussed increasing eduction standards, and having local government play a greater role in making education decisions for their communities.

In the past other Chaldeans have ran for a seat on the Michigan legislature, but were not successful. Kesto feels encouraged to run, and views it as a opportunity to advance the ideals of not only his own community but other minority communities throughout the state. “Everyone is pushing because they want to see success in their community, especially the Chaldeans,” Kesto said.

He serves on the Mother of God Church Parish Council in Southfield, is a board member on the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce, and Chaldean Federation of America, member of the Chaldean American Bar Association, Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers, and associated with the West Bloomfield Republican Party.

“I think it’s important as someone who’s Chaldean or has Middle Eastern roots to promote our own people and have them represent us in Lansing where legislation is made,” Dickow said. The state’s primary election is August 7, and the general election is Nov. 6. The last day to register and vote in the primary is July 9, and Oct. 9 is the deadline to register for the the general election.

You can find Kesto on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin or visit