Sharon McPhail was the general counsel for the City of Detroit. McPhail served on the Detroit City Council from 2002 until 2006. McPhail was a candidate for mayor in the 1993 and 2005 Detroit elections. She was formerly a lawyer in private practice, a division chief in the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, and an Assistant United States Attorney.
She placed third in the primary election on August 2, coming in behind Freman Hendrix and incumbent Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and eliminating her from the general election on November 8.
McPhail holds a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston and a bachelor's degree in sociology and English from Northeastern University. She was admitted to the Michigan Bar in 1976.