With 98 percent of the precincts reporting, Kilpatrick had 39 percent of the vote -- a 1,594-tally lead -- over former state Rep. Mary Waters, who received 36 percent, The Detroit News reported. State Sen. Martha Scott was in third place with 25 percent.
"I will be your congresswoman ... until I decide to retire," Kilpatrick told supporters.
Waters retired for the evening without conceding.
Kilpatrick ran strongest in Detroit while Waters fared well in the suburbs that make up the rest of the district, the News said.
Despite being the incumbent, leading the Congressional Black Caucus and having a considerable war chest, Kilpatrick struggled to overcome the scandal that has dogged her son, who faces perjury, obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges in connection with his attempts to conceal an extramarital affair during a whistleblower lawsuit.
The Democratic winner face Republican Edward Gubics in the November general election.