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John Kuriakuz Files To Run For 39th District House Seat
By Chaldean Caucus :: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 :: 62802 Views :: Government & Society, Chaldean Caucus


Michigan, USA - 28-year old West Bloomfield attorney John Kuriakuz officially filed paperwork last week with Oakland County establishing himself as a Democratic candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives in District 39. Last week also marked his last day at a Detroit law firm, where he walked away from a six-figure salary to focus full-time on winning the race to represent his hometown in the State House.

In January, Kuriakuz filed papers with the Secretary of State showing that before the New Year even began, his campaign had already raised over $45,000.

"I am passionate about serving my hometown in the State Legislature and am very grateful for the amount of support I've received so early on," Kuriakuz said. "I am especially proud to announce that unlike many candidates, I did not raise any money from special interest groups. All of my supporters are longtime friends, neighbors and relatives who have known me for years, believe in my abilities and support my vision for the State of Michigan."

Kuriakuz was born and raised in West Bloomfield and attended West Bloomfield public schools from kindergarten through the 12th grade. He received Bachelor's, Master's, and law degrees from Stanford University in California and spent two years as an analyst on Wall Street.

"Given the options available to me, my classmates and co-workers often questioned my desire to settle permanently in Michigan," said Kuriakuz. "For me the decision was easy. Although our State has its current troubles, I firmly believe that with resilience and dedication we as a people can work together to achieve great things for our State."

Kuriakuz is especially concerned about Michigan's current economic crisis.
Once elected, he will push for tax incentives for job-creating businesses, extension of tax relief to homeowners in the wake of falling real estate values, and solid investment in our children's education without compromise.
Kuriakuz also strongly believes that Legislators who vow to protect the environment should be held to their word without exception or excuse.

"Most people are surprised by my willingness to put my legal career on hold to enter this race. I've been told by some people that I'm young and 'can afford to wait.' But when you look at what's going on around us here in Michigan, I don't think that any of us can afford to wait," Kuriakuz concluded.

Born in West Bloomfield to immigrant parents from Iraq and Mexico, Kuriakuz attended West Bloomfield public schools from K-12 and continued his education at Stanford University in California. He completed both a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University at the age of 21. He was then hired by Wall Street investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, & Co. as a financial analyst in its fixed-income, currency and commodities division. Kuriakuz later received a law degree from Stanford Law School and is now an attorney specializing in commercial litigation in both Michigan state and federal courts.

Kuriakuz is a member of Prince of Peace Parish and is an active and proud member of the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and the West Bloomfield Optimist Club. He also volunteers his time for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.