Detroit Voters Have New Choices
With the disgraced Kwame Kilpatrick out of the way, the battle for Detroit’s mayorship is in full force. Following Tuesday’s election, former NBA star Dave Bing and interim Mayor Kenneth Cockrel, Jr., captured the top spots, meaning they will face off on May 5 to see who will lead the Motor City for the next four years. But the two candidates didn’t wait to take the gloves off. “Money can’t buy you a record of public service” Cockrel, 43, said, referring to Bing’s home, which until recently was in a gated community in Franklin. He has since moved to Detroit proper. “Money can’t buy you the knowledge to turn this city around.” Cockrel also challenged Bing to a debate every week until the election. But Bing, 64, countered that he will not share the stage with Cockrel until he opens the book to his personal finances. A retired Detroit Piston and owner of Bing Steel, Bing raised the bar in December, releasing his financial statements, which showed he made $870,000 in 2007. “He has another opportunity to come forward tomorrow,” Bing told a crowd. “Until he decides to tell the whole truth about his finances, then and only then will I debate.” There were seven major candidates in the race – former City Councilwoman Sharon McPhail, state Rep. Coleman A. Young II and former Councilman Nicholas Hood III each drew 2-4 percent of the total vote. McPhail, who served as former general counsel under Kilpatrick, said, “At least now Detroiters have a clear choice. There are two very different people.”
White Senator Discovers His Black Roots
Tony Rand, a Democratic North Carolina state senator, had no idea that some of his relatives were African American until he watched the 2008 CNN documentary Black in America. “I was sitting there, that Saturday night, just up reading the week’s papers and watching the program,” Rand told CNN. “Then I hear, ‘We are the Rands. The mighty, mighty Rands. And then I said to myself, ‘What?’” He said he then listened to family historian Martha Rand Hix begin to describe the family’s patriarch. “When they were talking about William Harrison Rand, I knew that was the William Harrison Rand in our family,” he said. “Then they started talking about North Carolina, and I said, ‘Well, God oh mighty,’ … it was just amazing.” Read the rest here.