Election 2008

Paul Sancya/AP
Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich

Michigan Incumbent Survives Primary and Family Scandal

August 07, 2008 11:14 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick won a three-way primary race after some questioned whether voters would punish her for her son’s alleged misdeeds.

30-Second Summary

A son’s political and legal woes didn’t cost a long-time congresswoman her seat as Cheeks Kilpatrick narrowly won a primary challenge in Michigan on Tuesday.

Of the 15 House of Representative seats in the Michigan delegation, only three primary races were contested. 

The Groff/Ellison Report said on Tuesday that Cheeks Kilpatrick, “awoke to headlines bashing her son, embattled Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who refused to talked [sic] to state troopers about his shoving an officer …” Additionally, the mayor’s attorney said a local paper didn’t have standing to obtain text messages that the mayor allegedly sent to a stripper who is now dead.
Kwame Kilpatrick is accused of lying to the court over an affair. The charges he faces include perjury, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office in what’s called the text message scandal.

“I’ve never seen a campaign or a candidate where someone is running against someone else’s son,” said Detroit resident Liz Jackson, 90. She supports Cheeks Kilpatrick and called the situation, “ridiculous,” according to the Detroit News.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Cheeks Kilpatrick was behind her opponents for much of the evening as the votes were counted.
The blog “Elect Jeff” said her win was only due to her two opponents’ egos, and if there had been one challenger, things would have been different. “Had Mary Waters or Martha Scott sat this election out, Cheeks Kilpatrick would be in the unemployment line today.”

Todd Spangler at the Detroit Free Press also explored that idea. Cheeks Kilpatrick received nearly 21,000 votes, while her opponents received 32,000 votes together. But with only one challenger, some of those votes may have gone to the incumbent, he said.

Spangler concludes: “It was the toughest re-election Kilpatrick has faced and she appears to have won, even though most of the people who went to the polls in her district on Tuesday voted for somebody else.”

Kilpatrick’s district is described as “overwhelmingly Democratic,” and is predicted to win the general election.

Reference: Election results


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