A fantastic update to the story of Charles Pugh, the popular and openly gay longtime former Detroit television anchor who entered the race for Detroit City Council. Pugh is poised to become Detroit’s first openly gay city councilmember and finished in first place among more than 160 candidates in last night’s primary, "a remarkable feat for a first-time candidate," notes Gay Politics.
The Detroit Free Press reports: "In the crowded City Council race, former Fox 2 reporter Charles Pugh was the top finisher with 9%, or 59,560 votes. Council President Ken Cockrel Jr. took second place, followed by former Detroit Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown. At Pugh's celebration, he gathered with about 200 supporters at Capital Square on Congress. He pointed his index finger in the air, as everyone realized he was No. 1. Silver confetti fell from the rafters. 'This is unbelievable,' he said. 'Very humbling. It speaks to the fact that Detroiters are ready for change. I'm going to fight really hard to take our message to the city. The message is about fiscal responsibility and creating jobs.'"
The top 18 council candidates now advance to an at-large election.
Pugh, who was endorsed by the Victory Fund, is one of the very few openly gay black local or national television news personalities. Some analysts feared Pugh's historic candidacy would not resonate with voters "in one of the country’s largest African-American cities where openly gay elected officials are rare if present at all."
The issues triumphed and "many voters said they crave change and new blood on the nine-member council", which is under FBI investigation for bribery. Detroit's former longtime Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick—the anti-gay, serial adulterer who pushed a same-sex marrriage ban—was sent to jail for corruption. Another sign of change: Not only was Charles Pugh the top vote-getter last night, but his sexuality was not mentioned in the front page coverage by the Detroit News or Detroit Free Press.
Thanks RODNEY and KEN!
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