Shocking Comments at Marysville Candidate Forum

Last night, Marysville held their candidate forum for the City’s upcoming election where residents will decide on the open mayor seat and 3 open council seats November 5th. Current Mayor Dan Damman opened the forum, turning things over to Scott Shigley, who moderated the evening.  In the running for the council seats are Paul Wessel, Shawn Winston, Kathy Hayman, Mike Deising all of whom have lived in Marysville for nearly their whole lives and Jean Cramer who moved to the Marysville area 10 years ago from Rochester. The lone candidate running for the open mayor seat is Wayne Pyden who says he’s lived in Marysville for 40 plus years. Topics included roads in Marysville and if candidates believed there were issues within the city limits, unfunded liabilities and legacy costs, the planned DTE site, current city developments amongst other topics, but things took a turn when a question was posed related to attracting diversity to the community. The moderator posed, “if you look at the population growth in the Great Lakes Region, in terms of migration, 1.5 million people were foreign born and 1.5 million were natural born which indicates there is a high level of folks moving to the region, but they’re not moving here (meaning Marysville), so as a philosophical question, should Marysville be more aggressive about making that happen?”   At this time it was Cramer’s turn to answer first, to which she answered, “my suggestion, recommendation: keep Marysville a white community as much as possible…in other words…no foreign-born citizens.”. All sitting on the forum and in the audience gasped and the remarks left many audience members and candidates in shock, vehemently condemning her remarks as many of them took it personally. Marysville Mayor Dan Damman and local Pastor Alex Crittenden were equally shocked. “I think to say that everyone in the room was shocked or stunned or completely taken aback would still be an understatement. Very clearly, Ms. Cramer’s sentiments don’t reflect that of the current city councils, they don’t reflect that of the office of the mayor. They don’t reflect that of the city administration and I’d have to say that they don’t reflect that of the vast majority of our residents.” Alex Crittenden, Pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Port Huron said, “even now, I’m somewhat stunned. On the upside, if you can find an upside, I heard the clip, and, on the upside, the gasps, the reaction from the audience and then those who had a chance to speak afterwards, that’s the upside. That is the positive side. It says to me that yes, these kinds of things still exist…but thank goodness there are people who, on the other end of the spectrum, if you have those who are emboldened in this kind of rhetoric, you have people who are saying, ‘this is not the way it should be.’” The full video can be seen online at or later this week on the city’s website.