BY THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Published November 7, 2001
DETROIT (AP) House Democratic leader Kwame Kilpatrick appeared headed toward victory in the Detroit mayoral race yesterday, leading City Council president Gil Hill as absentee ballots continued to be counted.
With 88 percent of the precincts reporting, Kilpatrick led with 98,124 votes or 54 percent, to Hill"s 82,484 votes or 46 percent. Detroit election officials said that among the outstanding ballots were about 47 percent of the absentee ballots.
Kilpatrick, 31, and Hill, who turned 70 yesterday, were vying to replace Mayor Dennis Archer. Archer, who announced last spring that he would not seek a third term as mayor of the nation"s 10th-largest city, did not endorse either candidate.
Vote counting was slowed earlier yesterday when Detroit elections officials stopped counting absentee ballots about noon after the state said Detroit failed to use software designed to identify flawed ballots.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Cynthia Stephens ordered the clerk"s office to count the absentee ballots using the state-mandated software. Counting resumed about 7 p.m.
In the Sept. 11 primary, Kilpatrick had about 51 percent of the vote, followed by Hill with 34 percent.
Nineteen other candidates split the rest of the vote. Polls since then have shown many voters were having a hard time deciding between Hill and Kilpatrick in the nonpartisan general election.
Kilpatrick is a former Detroit teacher with a law degree who built on the long political career of his mother, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick. He has served two terms in the state House and in January became minority leader.
Flanked by his family, a hoarse but animated Kilpatrick told supporters he"s ready to lead Detroit in a new direction
"This has not been a campaign, this is a movement. And the movement has just begun," Kilpatrick said. "It"s time for us to go forward with this movement and not waste 12 more years in this city. This has been an incredibly exciting journey."
At Hill"s campaign party as votes were still being reported, supporters presented him with a birthday cake and sang "Happy Birthday," as he told the crowd that he felt confident.
"I have never, ever been a quitter but even if I was, the people around me would not have stood for it," Hill said.
Hill spent 30 years on the Detroit police force. He has high name recognition, not only among city residents but also among movie buffs. He played Eddie Murphy"s irascible, salty-tongued boss Coswell Todd in the "Beverly Hills Cop" movies.
Sanborn elected to state Senate
Republican state Rep. Alan Sanborn won yesterday in a special election to replace former Sen. David Jaye in the Michigan Senate.
With 100 percent of the vote recorded, Sanborn (R-Richmond) had 22,202 votes, or 69 percent, while Democrat Carl Territo, a Shelby Township resident and Utica school board member, had 9,927 votes, or 31 percent.
"We weren"t running against Detroit, and there is no race baiting," Sanborn said. "You"re not going to see that imaginary wall at Eight Mile Road."
Vowing to defend scheduled tax cuts and better health care, Sanborn said he was "overwhelmed by the support that came out from the voters today."
Sanborn will serve the rest of a term that ends Dec. 31, 2002. The heavily Republican 12th District covers northern and western Macomb County.
Jaye was expelled from the Senate in May after several drunken driving arrests and accusations that he had assaulted his then-fiancee. He and Sonia Kloss had broken their engagement in a flurry of accusations and counter accusations two weeks before the Sept. 11 GOP special primary.
He lost a chance to regain his seat when he came in third in the primary.
Guido re-elected as Dearborn mayor
Incumbent Dearborn Mayor Michael Guido defeated Lebanese immigrant Abed Hammoud in an election notable for the ethnic overtones that arose in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Guido, 47, a lifelong city resident, defeated Hammoud, a Wayne County assistant prosecutor, to earn a fifth term as mayor. He received 16,687 votes, or 82 percent, with 81 percent of precincts reporting. Hammoud received 3,685 votes, or 18 percent.
Guido downplayed Hammoud"s ethnic background, saying voters should focus on who was better qualified to run the city of 97,000.
After the primary, Hammoud, a Wayne County assistant prosecutor, distributed fliers denouncing the attacks and saying not all Arabs are terrorists.
Hammoud, 35, faced an uphill battle against the popular incumbent mayor. He had 18 percent of the vote in the Sept. 11 primary, squeaking past former Police Chief Ron Deziel by just 1 percentage point. Guido received about 60 percent of the vote.