Democrat Brian Banks, an eight-time convicted felon with a rap sheet spanning several years, on Tuesday handily defeated his Republican opponent in the race to represent Michigan’s first district as a state representative, taking 68 percent of the vote.
Banks’ district includes northeast Detroit, Harper Woods, Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Point Shores.
The 35-year-old Banks was convicted of credit card fraud and writing bad checks eight times between 1998 and 2004. His latest conviction came eight years ago, when he was 27 years old.
However, Banks, who defeated Grosse Pointe Shores city councilman Republican Dan Schulte on Election Day, has insisted he has turned his life around.
Banks’ biography on his campaign website describes him as an educator, law school graduate, and community leader. Banks is currently an adjunct professor pursuing a Ph.D. in public policy, according to the website.
“Yes, I’ve made many poor decisions, and yes, I have a record, but that’s exactly what it is, my past,” Banks told WWJ Newsradio in September. “I would ask [voters] to look at what I’ve accomplished professionally and academically, since my poor decisions.”
His campaign slogan was “You can Bank on Banks.”
But recent events have cast doubt on Banks’ claims that he has, in fact, opened a new chapter in his life. In August, Banks was evicted from a Harper Woods home on Berden Street. The case involved a judgment of approximately $2,000.
On Oct. 31, a $3,751 judgment for nonpayment of rent was entered against Banks after his landlord discovered bounced checks. Banks was evicted from a second Harper Woods home last week, this time on Fleetwood Drive.