Cushingberry to run as a write-in for City Council

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News
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A month after losing his re-election bid, Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem George Cushingberry has filed to run as a write-in candidate, officials confirmed.

Cushingberry was defeated in the Aug. 8 primary for Council District 2, placing third with 19.6 percent of the vote. Roy McCalister Jr. finished first with 24.8 percent, and former state Sen. Virgil Smith came in second with 22.1 percent.

That meant the former state representative and Wayne County commissioner, who was elected in 2013 and has had his law license suspended twice while in office, could not advance to the Nov. 7 general election.

On Friday, Cushingberry filed a write-in declaration of intent with the Detroit clerk’s office, said Daniel Baxter, the elections director for the city.

The situation is “very rare,” he added. “However, it does happen. I know I’ve had candidates, particularly in municipal elections, who lost in the primary and continued to pursue being elected through the general election by running as a run-in candidate. He has a right to.”

Among his reasons for waging a write-in campaign, Cushingberry in a text message to The News late Friday pointed to his "education, experience and demonstrated ability."

Before joining the city council, Cushingberry lost to Smith in a 2010 Democratic primary for the state Senate district representing parts of Detroit and some Downriver communities.

Cushingberry started his position as the council’s second-highest ranking member in 2014 and serves as chair of its budget, finance and audit committee.

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