Candidate Who Said Michigan City Should Be Kept White Quits Council Race

0
20

A City Council candidate in Michigan who drew criticism and national attention last week for saying her community should be kept white “as much as possible” officially withdrew from the race on Monday.

The candidate, Jean Cramer, who was running for a seat on the Marysville City Council, hand-delivered a one-sentence letter to City Hall in the afternoon. It read: “I am writing this letter to withdraw as a City Council candidate for the Marysville City Council election on Nov. 5, 2019.”

At a candidates’ forum on Thursday, the moderator asked whether the community should be more aggressive in attracting foreign-born residents. Ms. Cramer replied that Marysville should be a “white community as much as possible” with “no foreign people,” drawing audible gasps from fellow candidates.

On Friday, Ms. Cramer expanded on her views to The Times Herald, a local newspaper. She said that interracial marriages were a “big problem,” citing the Bible, and insisted she was not racist. She told reporters that she had no plans to drop out of the race.

Marysville, which is about 55 miles northeast of Detroit, has a population of less than 10,000, and around 95 percent of it is white, according to census figures.

Mayor Dan Damman, who is not seeking re-election, said he appreciated Ms. Cramer’s withdrawing from the race.

“My hope is that she realizes that with her ideology she is not fit for office in Marysville or anywhere else,” he said.

The mayor said Ms. Cramer’s name would still be on the ballot in the November election; she would have had to withdraw by April 26 to remove her name.

Mayor Damman said that if Ms. Cramer gets the most votes, she would most likely decline to serve and would not take the oath of office, because she has publicly withdrawn.

“I just cannot in any way see that happening — not in our city,” he said. “There has been so much backlash toward her from our residents just saying, ‘You do not represent who we are.’ People are patently offended.”

Mayor Damman said he had not spoken to Ms. Cramer in person, but he called for her withdrawal through media outlets and social media on Friday.

On Monday morning, Mayor Damman was told that Ms. Cramer had gone to City Hall to orally withdraw to the acting clerk of finance, the highest-ranking official in the office at the time.

The acting clerk immediately called the city manager, who said Ms. Cramer’s withdrawal needed to be in writing. Ms. Cramer was informed and summoned back to City Hall, and arrived within a few hours with a typed letter in hand.

“The deputy clerk just wasn’t aware of the protocol,” Mayor Damman said. “We’ve never been faced with something like this.”

Ms. Cramer did not respond to phone calls on Monday asking for comment.

There are now four candidates running for three open seats on the City Council.