(CBS) DETROIT - The newly elected state assembly in Michigan includes at least one ex-con: Brian Banks, who's been convicted eight times for felonies involving bad checks and credit card fraud, won a seat representing the east side of Detroit, Harper Woods, and the tony Grosse Pointes, CBS Detroit reports..
Banks, 35, was convicted eight times between 1998 and 2004 of writing bad checks and credit card fraud. His slogan was "You can Bank on Banks."
The 35-year-old Democrat and lifelong Detroiter, got 68 percent of the vote to Republican Dan Schulte's 32 percent, according to CBS Detroit.
"It's time to elect a leader, with experience and passion, who will fight for you," Banks wrote on his website.
Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2010 that bans anyone convicted of a felony in the last 20 years from running for office - but the caveat is the conviction has to be "related to the person's official capacity while holding any elective office." This was Banks' first run for elected office.
Banks' website says he's a lawyer and adjunct professor, though he doesn't say where, and that he uses his law degree to provide "free legal assistance to indigent clients." According to CBS Detroit, he's said in published reports he changed his ways after his last conviction eight years ago.
Banks was endorsed by his pastor Mark Holloway at Peace & Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, and a variety of unions.
"He is an educator, law graduate, community leader and visionary. Brian Banks has risen to prominence in spiritual, community and academic arenas - against the odds," his site says.
He told WWJ Newsradio in September that he had made "many poor decisions,"adding, "I would ask them to look at what I've accomplished professionally and academically, since my poor decisions."
Banks was one of two candidates with unusual pasts elected in Michigan on Tuesday. Reindeer farmer Kerry Bentivolio, who once said in a deposition he wasn't always sure if he was himself or Santa Claus and whose brother described him as "mentally unbalanced," won a House seat in the state's 11th district.
Ho ho ho.