Banks to take seat in state House

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 8, 2012

Concerns about Brian Banks’ criminal past didn’t stop voters from making him their representative for the new District 1 state House seat.

Banks, running on the Democratic ticket, won the seat with approximately 70 percent of the vote against Republican Dan Schulte.

After the election, Banks commented on the win on his Facebook page.

“First, let me thank God for his many blessings that he has bestowed upon me,” Banks stated. “Thank you (Facebook) family for your prayers, financial support, volunteering and words of encouragement.

“I would not have been able to do it without you,” he stated. “I am proud to be your newly elected state representative District 1. This is truly of a testament to God's goodness, grace, mercy and favor. I look forward to serving District 1 with honor, respect and integrity without looking back.”

The win came despite Banks’ criminal history making local and national news, as well as other concerns from residents, including more recent civil court actions.

That past involves multiple felony convictions for things such as illegal use of a financial transaction device and writing bad checks. The civil cases involved issues like nonpayment of rent and eviction matters.

Banks has spoken about his past convictions during the campaign.

“People deserve second chances,” Banks said during a candidate forum last month, adding that he understands what people are going through, struggling with the economy. “I, too, have lived through a number of economic challenges.”

When asked during the forum what he has done to earn the public trust after his felony convictions, Banks discussed his education up to law school.

“I’ve shown great tenacity and commitment to rehabilitating myself,” he said last month. “I have admitted my wrongdoing. I’ve accepted my responsibility.”

While Banks took the overall vote in the district that includes part of Detroit, Harper Woods, Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Shores, Schulte, who is the mayor pro tem in Grosse Pointe Shores, took the most votes in Grosse Pointe Woods with 70 percent of ballots cast, and in Grosse Pointe Shores with 85 percent of ballots cast.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped support my campaign for District 1 state representative,” Schulte said in an email after the election. “It was a strong effort. Your contributions, time and effort are all greatly appreciated.”