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Detroit Mayor Bing advances to general election

By COREY WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer

DETROIT, August 4, 2009 (AP): Incumbent Dave Bing will move on to the Nov. 3 general election in his pursuit of a four-year term as Detroit mayor.

The professional basketball Hall-of-Famer and former businessman had more than 74 percent of the vote with 98 percent of Detroit's 629 precincts reporting in Tuesday's nonpartisan primary.

Of the five remaining mayoral candidates, Tom Barrow had 11.1 percent and Jerroll Sanders had 10 percent of the vote. The top two vote-getters will compete in November. The three other candidates each had less than 3 percent.

Bing has been mayor since May after defeating interim Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. in a runoff election to complete Kwame Kilpatrick’s second term. Kilpatrick resigned last September as part of a plea deal in a text-messaging sex scandal that sent him to jail for 99 days.

``We talked about changing the way this city operates, and since May I am exceedingly proud of the staff we put together to lead the city back,'' Bing said during a victory celebration at his campaign headquarters Tuesday night.

Elections director Daniel Baxter estimated that only 15 percent of Detroit's approximately 576,000 registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, on the low end of what he had expected. Many polling places throughout the city saw only a trickle of voters, who were also narrowing the list of candidates for City Council, city clerk, charter commission and school board.

All nine council seats were up for a vote. With 563 precincts reporting, five of the six council incumbents were in the top 18 vote-getters. Former WJBK-TV reporter and anchor Charles Pugh had 8.8 percent, followed by Cockrel Jr. with 7.2 percent and ex-Detroit Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown with 6 percent. Neither former Motown singer and Councilwoman Martha Reeves nor Conyers was in the top 25.

Associated Press writer David N. Goodman contributed to this story.





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