First place

In contrast to Hill’s shindig, Kwame Kilpatrick’s group was downright rowdy. Dozens of people gathered at the plush St. Regis Hotel — near Kilpatrick’s campaign office at the Fisher Building — around 9 p.m. Instead of watching the poll figures roll in, folks gathered around televisions, with drinks and cigarettes in hand, to watch coverage of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington. As the night rolled along, the group grew. And as news trickled in of Kilpatrick’s dominance at the polls, the energy began to build. By the time it was announced that Kilpatrick would address the crowd around 11 p.m., the group had swelled to more than 100. To cheers and applause, Kilpatrick strutted into the room like a champion boxer, surrounded by his entourage. When the candidate took to the podium, he asked for a moment of silence to pray over the day’s tragic events. After, he said that although it seemed like the world was ending that morning, “the courage of Detroit prevailed” and voters turned out. With an undertone like a preacher riling up a crowd, Kilpatrick thanked his followers for supporting him “from the east side, from the west side.” He chided the media for underestimating him as a young guy without enough experience to beat Hill. And he reminded his cheering audience that they haven’t won anything “but the chance to compete in the championship.” As his speech ended to chants of “Kwame, Kwame, Kwame,” the upbeat aura of victory in the room nearly, for a second, overshadowed the sadness of the day.

Lisa M. Collins contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]
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