DETROIT (AP) - Basketball legend Dave Bing was elected Tuesday
as Detroit's mayor through the end of the year, sweeping the
incumbent from office in the city with myriad problems.
With all but two of 629 precincts reporting, Bing had 52.3
percent of the vote, or 48,951 votes, to 47.7 percent, or 44,703
votes, for Ken Cockrel Jr. Both are Democrats.
Bing, 65, will be mayor through 2009, serving the balance of the
term that belonged to Democrat Kwame Kilpatrick, who resigned in
September and went to jail after admitting he lied during a civil
trial to cover up an affair with his chief of staff.
Bing must run again in the regular Aug. 4 nonpartisan primary
and win the Nov. 3 general election to hold the mayor's seat for a
full four years.
The founder of steel manufacturer The Bing Group announced his
run for mayor the day after Kilpatrick stepped down as part of
pleas to two criminal cases.
Cockrel, 43, was City Council president before Kilpatrick's
departure automatically promoted him to the mayor's office. He'll
go back to that job now.
About 15 percent of the city's registered voters participated. A
proposal to revise the city charter also was on the ballot and
"I don't like either one; it's like tossing a coin. But I'll
give Bing a chance," Bonnie Brookslee, 78, said after voting at
King High School, east of downtown. "Cockrel went along too much
with Kwame when he was on the council."
About an hour before polls closed at 8 p.m., Bing said he would
release the names of about 31 people ready to join his team after a
board of canvassers certifies vote totals. Prominent names are on
that list, Bing said.
Canvassers have 14 days to certify the totals, but it's more
likely certification will be complete in about 10 days, elections
director Daniel Baxter said Monday.
Scandal caused the special election, which cost $2.5 million
including the Feb. 24 primary, but Detroit has other issues on its
plate. The city has a $250 million to $300 million budget deficit,
double-digit unemployment and a wave of home foreclosures.