Former news anchor Charles Pugh is
among the 18 candidates who will advance to the Nov. 3 primary for a
seat on Detroit's City Council. But for a second openly gay Michigan
candidate the race is over.
Pugh, 38, will already be remembered as
Detroit's first openly gay candidate to a major post, but today's
headline was far more stunning: Pugh was the top vote-getter with 8.9
percent of the vote.
Trailing by 10,000 votes in second
place was City Council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr.
“He was young and energetic, and he
had good ideas,” Rev. Lonnie Peek, spokesman for the Council of
Baptist Ministers, told the Detroit News about
the group's decision to back Pugh.
“He's just the right person to bring
about change. He did great,” Peek added.
The group's backing runs counter to
what's happening in other black communities – including fights in
Washington D.C. and nearby Cleveland, Ohio – where ministers are at
the forefront of advocating against gay and lesbian rights.
The self-proclaimed “Detroitaholic”
stepped down from an anchor post at Fox 2 to become a candidate for
council. He first announced his sexuality on air in 2004.
“I didn't know what would happen, but
at that point it didn't matter to me because I knew it was the right
thing to do,” Pugh told the AP. In fact, his celebrity has only
But as Pugh was being eagerly embraced
by Detroiters, nearby voters were feeling differently about another
openly gay Michigan candidate.
Scott Klein failed to win one of the
top 6 slots in yesterday's Hamtramck primary for City Council.
Klein, a two-term councilman endorsed by the mayor, came in 7th
place in a field of 12 candidates, ending his run for one of three
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund had
endorsed both candidates.