August 3, 2010

Clarke ’84 Moves Closer to Congress With Primary Win Over Incumbent

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Mich. state Sen. Hansen Clarke ’84 upset seven-term incumbent Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the 13th District’s seat to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Clarke’s victory in a typically Democratic district makes it likely that he will become the sixth Cornell alumnus in Congress. Clarke will join Reps. Rob Andrews JD ’82, Bob Filner ’63 Ph.D. ’73 (D-CA), Gabrielle Giffords M.R.P. ’96 (D-AZ), Mark Kirk ’81 (R-IL) and Kurt Schrader ’73 (D-OR).

When Clarke was at Cornell, he beat conservative commentator Ann Coulter ’84 in an election for the student-elected Trustee. He served on the Board of Trustees from 1982-1984 and graduated with an MFA in painting. He graduated from Georgetown Law School in 1987 and in 1990 won his first election to the Michigan State House of Representatives.

When Cheeks Kilpatrick conceded the race late Tuesday night, Clarke was winning by a margin of 48 percent to 41 percent with just over half of the precincts in the district reporting. There were four other opponents in the primary. Cheeks Kilpatrick narrowly won re-election in 2008, and was hurt by the legal troubles of her son, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is in prison after facing counts of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Original Author: Sun Staff