Candidate who wanted city as white ‘as possible’ ends run

National News

MARYSVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A city council candidate in Michigan who said last week that she wants to keep her community white “as much as possible” withdrew from the council race on Monday.

Jean Cramer stopped by Marysville City Hall to say she was leaving the race and later, at the request of city officials, put her withdrawal in writing in a one-sentence letter that did not give a reason for why she dropped out, the Times Herald in Port Huron reported. Her name will remain on the Nov. 5 election ballot.

Cramer, 67, created a furor after a moderator at an election forum Thursday asked her and the other candidates if the city should do more to attract foreign-born residents. Cramer replied: “Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible.”

She added: “White. Seriously. In other words, no foreign-born, no foreign people.”

Her comments troubled other candidates at the forum.

“Just checking the calendar here and making sure it’s still 2019,” Mike Deising said.

The Times Herald later asked Cramer if she wanted to clarify her remarks. Cramer said she did not believe people of different races should get married.

“Husband and wife need to be the same race. Same thing with kids,” Cramer said. “That’s how it’s been from the beginning of, how can I say, when God created the heaven and the earth.”

She said she did not believe her comments were racist.

Cramer doubled down on her statements Friday during a follow-up interview with the Times Herald outside her Marysville home.

“As far as I know, as long as we’ve been here, Marysville has been a white community, a white city,” she said.

Cramer’s comments prompted Mayor Dan Damman and others to ask her to withdraw from the council race in the city about 55 miles (88 kilometers) northeast of Detroit. More than 90% of Marysville’s 9,700-person population is white.

“After the initial shock of what she said really sank in and (given) the deep-seated viewpoints that she has, I don’t believe that she is fit to serve as an elected official in Marysville or anywhere else,” Damman said Friday.

Cramer was one of five candidates running for three council seats in November.

City Manager Randy Fernandez said that Cramer’s name will remain on the Nov. 5 city election ballot despite her withdrawal. He said city officials consulted with the state and it was determined that she would have had to leave the race by the April 26 withdrawal date for her name to be removed.

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