8-Time Felon Aims for State (Not Big) House

Can Mich. State House candidate overcome his checkered past?

Oct. 3, 2012 -- People say politicians can't be trusted, but what about when it comes to an eight-time felon running for public office? Brian Banks, 35, convicted of writing bad checks and credit card fraud, is vying for Michigan's 1st House District this November.

The Democrat, whose last conviction for fraud-related charges was eight years ago, won a close primary election. Banks, who did not have to face an incumbent, beat four other Democratic opponents by a margin of only 100 votes. He'll face Dan Schulte, a Republican and Grosse Pointe Shores two-term city councilman with no criminal record.

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Schulte tells ABC News of his opponent's record, "I don't think it's a good thing, that's for sure....I was surprised that a felon could even run for legislature in state of Michigan, I don't think it should be allowed."

Banks' first arrest came in 1998 at age 22.The conviction resulted in a misdemeanor for passing bad checks. The following year, he was arrested again and pled guilty to three counts of credit card fraud in addition to one count of check fraud. Banks, who has served jail time for writing bad checks, has since been convicted of passing bad checks a total of eight times in several metro Detroit cities.

Schulte says that he is no stranger to forgiveness but the case of Brian Banks is unusual. "If you do something wrong and you show that you've turned a corner then you absolutely should be given another chance but when he did something wrong eight times and when he is still doing things wrong, that doesn't show that he is sorry at all."

According to the Detroit Free Press Banks has publically taken responsibility for his actions saying, "Yes, I've made many poor decisions, and yes, I have a record, but that's exactly what it is, my past."

Banks denied or did not respond to numerous requests for an interview with ABC News.

According to District 32A of Wayne County, the House seat hopeful is being sued for eviction. The case was filed on September 11 and the trial is scheduled to take place on October 4.

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Banks' opponent said he was surprised when he won the primary. "I was surprised because I thought the other candidates just appeared to be nicer people." Schulte said. "Banks came off pretty cocky, he seemed very arrogant and he acted like expects to win."

Schulte tells ABC News that even if he wasn't running, he wouldn't want Banks to win. "If he won he would be my state representative and even if I wasn't running, Banks isn't someone that I would want to represent me or my district."

But not all of the residents of Detroit feel the same way. The area is no stranger to having former criminals hold seats in the Legislature.

Democratic State Sen. Bert Johnson, who represents Michigan's 2nd district, pleaded no contest in a 1993 armed robbery when he was 19 years old.