Banks, Broman win in the District 1 primary election

By: Maria Allard | Advertiser Times | Published August 4, 2016

 Brian R. Banks

Brian R. Banks

WAYNE COUNTY — The field for state representative in District 1 has been narrowed to two.

During the primary election Aug. 2, voters put their confidence in two candidates who will go up against each other to win the open seat in the general election Nov. 8. 

At the polls last Tuesday, incumbent state Rep. Brian R. Banks won the Democratic Party primary, while William Broman, who ran unopposed, secured the Republican nomination.

According to unofficial results that the Wayne County Clerk’s Office released after the polls closed, Banks received 3,216 votes. That was 615 more than Pamela Sossi’s 2,601 votes in second place. Washington Youson received 554 votes, Keith Hollowell received 397 votes, Corey J. Gilchrist received 210 votes, and Kameshea Amos received 203 votes.

Broman garnered 1,525 votes in the Republican primary. District 1 encompasses Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Shores, Harper Woods and a section of northeast Detroit. 

Banks, 39, of Harper Woods, has been a state representative since January 2013. State representatives in Michigan can serve three two-year terms. 

“All is well. I’m glad the voters spoke resoundingly,” Banks said. “I’m thankful to my constituents for believing in me.”

Banks said he decided to run again because “there is more work to be done.” If re-elected in November, the state lawmaker said he will continue working to provide adequate funding and support for public education. 

“We must continue to provide a strong and vibrant public education that values the whole child,” he said. 

If the voters put him back in office, Banks also vows to continue working to end red-lining and reduce auto and homeowners insurance rates. Growing the economy also is a priority, as Banks said he will continue to look at ways to attract and retain businesses, workers and families. 

Banks, a member of the House Appropriations Health and Human Services Subcommittee and chairman of the Detroit Caucus, has worked with other lawmakers to provide additional funding for various programs. 

In April of this year, Banks announced that a number of programs and services offered through the Department of Health and Human Services should see their funding increase in the 2016-17 budget.

Programs seeing increases, staying at current funding levels or being retained include indigent burial funding, the Healthy Kids Dental program, implementation of the planned Pace Program Expansion, funding for special drugs for people receiving Hepatitis-C treatments and an increase to Senior Community Services, which also maintains funding for Meals on Wheels.

Broman, 24, is an engineer from Grosse Pointe Woods who has never held public office. His top goals, if elected, are to expand access to child care assistance for parents who are attending college or trade school, create a standard procedure for handling sexual assault complaints/cases on Michigan college campuses, and fund investigators and prosecutors to close and prosecute the previously untested rape kits in Detroit.

“I think there are a lot of issues that are facing our community and Detroit that need to be resolved from a policy standpoint,” Broman said of his decision to run.

Broman feels that if child care is made more affordable for parents, especially those in the 18-24 age range, it will give them the opportunity to continue their post-secondary education.

“Parents who choose to pursue a degree from a community college, a trade school or a graduate-level program should not have to worry about the burden of paying for child care,” Broman said. “The parents will have a better life and their children a more solid foundation. They’ll make more money and have a better lifestyle. This will allow them to contribute more to the community. A Michigan with more educated folks will have a full workforce pipeline and draw companies and jobs back to the state. I think it will be a benefit to our society.”

He also will work to provide more funding to find, arrest and prosecute those who commit sexual assault. 

“The Campus Accountability and Safety Act introduced in the U.S. Senate has not received due attention, and provides a great framework for a standardized response to sexual assault on college campuses. Michigan ought to take the lead on this very important issue,” Broman said.

He said there is not enough being done, because of a lack of funding, to test rape kits in cases where victims are sexually assaulted, and that needs to change. 

“The state has provided funding to complete testing on previously untested rape kits in Detroit and Wayne County,” Broman said. “The next issue is ensuring there are enough investigators and prosecutors to prosecute the cases.”

Broman also would like to create innovation districts to attract research and development activities from companies across the country.