City Council Candidate Says Marysville Should Be Kept As White As Possible

WWJ News
August 23, 2019 - 9:00 am

Jean Cramer, a candidate for the Marysville City Council, gives her opening remarks during a candidate forum Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, at Marysville City Hall. (photo:© Brian Wells/Times Herald via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

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MARYSVILLE, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - A city council candidate shocked a public forum when she said she wants to "keep Marysville a white community as much as possible."

Jean Cramer made the comment Thursday in response to a question about how to attract more people, including those foreign born, to Marysville, a St. Clair County community 55 miles northeast of Detroit. More than 90% of Marysville's 9,700-person population is white.

"My suggestion, recommendation: Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible," said Cramer, one of five candidates running for three council seats in November. 

"White, seriously, in other words, no foreign born, no foreign people because of what -- oh, how can I say -- in our past we have experienced, it's better to have it simply American born. Put it that way," she said. "And no foreigners, no."

After the forum, Cramer told The Times Herald that she's not "against blacks" but believes married couples and their children "need to be the same race."

"That’s how it’s been from the beginning of, how can I say, when God created the heaven and the earth. He created Adam and Eve at the same time," she said. "But as far as me being against blacks, no I’m not.”

Other candidates at the forum were deeply troubled. Mike Deising said: "Just checking the calendar here and making sure it's still 2019."

Council member Paul Wessel said anyone who makes it to Marysville should be allowed to live there. The council meeting room is named for the late Joseph Johns, who was Syrian, owned a local business and was an elected official for decades. He was the father of Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Hayman.

"I don't even know that I can talk yet, I'm so upset and shocked. ... So basically, what you've said is that my father and his family had no business to be in this community," Hayman told Cramer.

Mayor Dan Damman said Cramer's comments were "jaw-dropping."

"It is certainly not representative of the Marysville that I have called home," Damman told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "I'm very proud of our city, but I find this candidate's attitude and ideology vile and reprehensible." 

While Damman said he does not believe that Cramer has much of a chance at winning a seat on the council, he is hoping that she will withdraw herself from consideration.