DETROIT — Democratic Gov. James J. Blanchard swept to a landslide reelection victory, burying Republican William Lucas' uphill struggle to become the nation's first elected black governor.
Blanchard maintained the 35% lead that exit polls had given him over Lucas, a former FBI agent, former Democrat and outgoing chief executive of Detroit's Wayne County. Pre-election polls showed Lucas favored by only 20% of blacks and 36% of the state's whites, despite a strong endorsement from President Reagan.
Blanchard is a moderate liberal best known for his past congressional sponsorship of the loan bailout package that saved Chrysler Corp. from bankruptcy.