A woman seeking a city council seat in eastern Michigan has dropped out of the race after recent comments in which she said she wanted to keep the community as white “as possible.”
Jean Cramer ended her candidacy in Marysville in a letter sent to municipal officials and obtained Monday by the Port Huron Times Herald. The letter gave no reason for the withdrawal.
Cramer’s name will remain on the Nov. 5 ballot because her move came long after the official April 26 withdrawal date, City Manager Randy Fernandez told the Times Herald.
Cramer, 67, made national headlines last week with an unrestrained barrage of racist comments, first at a public forum featuring Marysville council candidates and later in a TV interview outside her home. The city is about 55 miles north of Detroit.
At the forum, Cramer responded to a question about diversity in Marysville ― a city with a population of about 9,700 that’s 95% white ― and if city officials should do more to attract immigrants.
“Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible,” she said, shocking the audience and her fellow candidates. “White. Seriously. In other words, no foreign-born, uh-uh. No foreign people.”
Cramer, who was one of five running for three open seats on the council, received some immediate pushback from some of the others participating in the forum. Mayoral candidate Wayne Pyden said that everyone is welcome in Marysville, while council candidate Mike Deising said, “Just checking the calendar here and making sure it’s still 2019.”
Candidate and Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Hayman also denounced the remarks at the forum, saying she took them “very personally” because she has a Black son-in-law and biracial grandchildren. Hayman’s father, a Syrian, was a local business owner and elected official, according to The Associated Press.
Hilary Golston, a Black reporter with Detroit’s FOX 2, asked Cramer on Friday if the then-candidate wanted to keep nonwhite people out of Marysville. Cramer responded that she doesn’t have a problem with nonwhite people being in Marysville as long as they aren’t in interracial unions and “keep up their homes.”
“I’m a Black person. I’m married to a white man,” Golston told her. “Are you telling me that I wouldn’t be welcome here in Marysville?”
Cramer responded: “When it comes to the Holy Bible, it’s all one. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the Earth, he also created Adam and Eve. Same kind.”
When Golston pressed Cramer about whether she views the reporter’s marriage as wrong, Cramer said: “I would say so. According to the Bible, yes.”
Cramer also told the FOX reporter that immigrants should “stay in their own country” and fix problems in their native lands rather than come to the U.S.
Mayor Dan Damman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Damman had called for Cramer’s withdrawal on Friday, saying her comments were “vile” and that he didn’t believe she was “fit to serve as an elected official” because of her “racist mindset.”