Scott wins 13th district chair
By Zenobia Jeffries
The Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Wayne County Commissioner Martha G. Scott is the new chairperson for the 13th Congressional District.
Scott’s May 4 victory follows much controversy over leadership within the new district, represented by Congressman John Conyers.
At the Feb. 23 elections during the state’s Democratic Party convention, Rev. D. Alexander Bullock emerged the 13th’s victor.
Another candidate for the position, Frazier Kimpson, and the Democratic party challenged Bullock’s win saying he was not eligible to run. Bullock was subsequently disqualified.
Opponent Kimpson, endorsed by Conyers, faced a close race in both the February and May elections, which each resulted in a 116-113 loss for the longtime politico.
Kimpson, supported by UAW Region 1-A, AFSCME Council 25, Fannie Lou Hamer PAC and others, refused to officially comment after the May 4 victory, but indicated his team is determining whether or not to proceed with another appeal.
In a telephone interview days following her victory, Scott said she’s moving forward. “I believe God gave me an opportunity to serve the people and that’s what I’m going to do. We have to get more democrats registred and elected so we’re able to affect change.”
Scott says she’s already started signing up people to the party.
Over 300 people turned out for the vote — many from the 14th district, where Rick Blocker maintained his chairmanship of the newly drawn district.
Just before the vote, officials announced there were 246 credentialed voters in the room.
Delegates were in an uproar. Several minutes passed before it was determined only those who voted Feb. 23 — 229 delegates —were qualified to participate in the May 4 vote.
To’I Coleman, a 13th precinct delegate, said she arrived undecided but after the morning’s activity, decided to turn down Kimpson’s Unity Slate and go with Scott’s Stand Up for Democracy Slate.
“This is a poor example of how the voting process is supposed to work,” said Coleman of the uncertainty party leadership showed in not knowing whether or not to let the day’s newcomers vote. “I’ve lived in this district for over 10 years, and I support (Congressman) Conyers. He’s helped me tremendously, (but) we have too many older adults that have the mind of the dark ages. They believe what they believe and don’t want to pass the wand.”
Both Kimpson and Scott supporters agreed it was time for the district to unite and move forward to the “bigger issues” in the upcoming state election.
Yvette McElroy, Fannie Lou Hamer PAC, says the confusion was in the attempt to allow elected officials to vote that had not voted Feb. 23.
A 13th district precinct delegate and Kimpson supporter, McElroy says the problem could have been avoided at the table when delegates checked in.
“But let’s move forward,” she said. “We need to focus on coming together and … winning the state and national elections.”
Michigan’s 13th Congressional district includes much of Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck, Grosse Pointe, Ecorse, Harper Woods and some downriver communities.