Detroit Ex-Mayor’s Legal Woes Cost His Mom Election

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AP / Paul Sancya

The sins of the sons are visited upon the mother.

For those of you who are parents, this is a lesson in how not to let your kids trip you up and end your career, all told in Detroit’s always nutty political amusement park.

In a hotly contested race, Michigan state Sen. Hansen Clarke handed a primary election defeat to seven-term incumbent Rep. Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick, who just happens to also be the mother of disgraced former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, currently serving time for probation violations and facing federal tax and fraud charges.

The 13th District, which Kilpatrick represented, covers most of Detroit’s east side and part of the southeastern suburbs. The district has long been a Democratic stronghold, so Clarke is expected to easily take the post in the November elections.

Although Clarke ran on a platform of reform in government, most political watchers agree Kilpatrick would easily have won a eighth term had it not been for the legal woes of her son. Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley explained as much the morning after the election:

“…The race also told the tale of a lioness whose cub cost her her pride and could cost her her seat in Congress. As votes mounted for Clarke late Tuesday, the race appeared to be a referendum on the Kilpatrick family.”

Incumbents may face a tough fight nationwide, but having a son on lock down isn’t likely push the polls in your favor any further.