Either the son of an activist lawyer or a retired NBA star will be elected Detroit's mayor today, formally replacing the disgraced Kwame Kilpatrick.
Ken Cockrel Jr., whose dad served with Detroit City Council and represented controversial court cases in the 1970s, became interim mayor after Kilpatrick's resignation last year.
Kilpatrick was convicted of obstructing justice after it was revealed that he and his chief of staff covered up a plot to illegally discipline police officers. The cops' investigation into mayoral security costs threatened to expose Kilpatrick's extra-marital affair with the chief of staff, Christine Beatty. Both served jail time, moving Cockrel Jr. into the mayor's spot from his City Council president post last fall.
Former Detroit Piston Dave Bing, a prominent businessman, launched a campaign challenging Cockrel to lead the city for the remainder of what would have been Kilpatrick's second term.
The winner of today's election will be mayor until late 2009 when a new vote is held to decide who leads Detroit for the next four years.