Dave Bing made his name as a Detroit Pistons legend, and now Bing gets to lead the rest of Detroit for a while. Dave Bing became a contender for Mayor of Detroit after Kwame Kilpatrick’s infamous scandals forced him out of office. In the first of many special elections that will held to fill his post, Bing won the right to serve out the rest of Kilpatrick’s term, beating out Kilpatrick’s replacement, Ken Cockrel Jr. With this, Dave Bing becomes the latest sportsman or entertainer to get a major political position.
Dave Bing won the mayoral election by 52-48% over Cockrel Jr, receiving close to 49,000 votes overall. However, the registered voter turnout was very low in the city, with only 15% turnout. But they will have plenty more chances to vote for mayor in the future.
Though Dave Bing will become Mayor with this win, he will face a few more elections this year alone. Another primary will be held in August, followed by a general election in November, to decide who begins the next mayoral term in 2010.
Before becoming a possibly temporary Mayor, Dave Bing was a notable name for the Detroit Pistons in the pre-Bad Boys era. Bing was a Rookie of the Year in 1967, and became a Hall of Famer in the backcourt. Bing served nine years as a player in Detroit, averaging 20 points for his career, before ending his NBA tenure in Boston and Washington.
Bing became a Hall of Famer in 1990, and was later named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1996. But his era came before the Pistons became an NBA powerhouse, with infamous Bad Boy players, in the 80’s, so it was harder to gain a national audience.
Bing is not a veteran politician, but he did become successful in business by running the manufacturing company The Bing Group – an auto industry supplier that is actually still in business. He put his hat into the ring after Kwame Kilpatrick’s sex scandals, and the subsequent turmoil in City Hall.
The election of Bing is yet another case of an athlete or entertainer getting a major position in politics. In fact, the whole balance of power in Congress is on the line thanks to an entertainer, as Al Franken still awaits to be declared Senator from Minnesota and give the Democrats 60 Senate seats.
However, a lot of these entertainers haven’t quite stepped into their new jobs the way Bing has, and stepped into quite this much of a difficult position, with Detroit undergoing turmoil every which way. He will have to work hard just to keep this job past November before he can start to try and turn Detroit around.
The Detroit News- “Detroit’s new mayor: Dave Bing” www.detnews.com/article/20090505/METRO/905050432/Detroit-s-new-mayor–Dave-Bing/
NBA.com- “Dave Bing Summary” www.nba.com/history/players/bing_summary.html
ESPN- “Detroit Pistons great Dave Bing wins Detroit mayor election” sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story