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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cockrel gets an audition

Rarely does a politician get an audition for a job he or she
wants. Count Ken Cockrel Jr. as one lucky guy.
With the demise of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatarick, Cockrel has
his audition and will be on stage until February when a special
primary election will be held to pick candidates to fill out
Kilpatrick's term until November of 2009.
Others would love to be in the spotlight to prove they can do
the job, but they will have to sit idly by while Cockrel either kills
'em dead or falls on his face. So far, it is the former as reflected
in an early poll.
The Denno-Noor survey for the MIRS newsletter and the Rossman
Group gives Cockrel the early lead with 27% of the vote. Coming up
the backcourt, is former Piston star Dave Bing with 15%. He is
followed by Freeman Hendrix who was supposed to beat Kilpatrick last
time out. He's at 6% and followed by Southfield attorney Geoff Feiger
at 5%. The rest of the enormous field has even lower numbers.
Cockrel is enjoying a honeymoon right now based mostly on the
fact that he is the antithesis of Kilpatrick. Cockrel will have to do
more than that to win the role for good, and he's gotten good marks
on assembling a new team that is also everything that Kilpatrick's
team was not.
One of his early tests will come in Lansing, where he will show
up after the November election. He needs financial help from the
state to expand Cobo Hall and he'll need money from stingy lawmakers
for the Detroit Crime lab that he recently turned over to the
Michigan State Police.
He'll get a helping hand on Cobo, but could get a hand in the
face on state taxpayers footing part of the bill for the crime lab.
Everyone will evaluate how Cockrel does on breaking down that anti-
Detroit sentiment which he acknowledges is alive and well in the
state capitol. That could be the toughest challenge of his rare


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