Detroit— Wayne County Executive candidate Warren Evans on Tuesday announced the endorsement of more than a dozen local pastors.
Evans, a former Detroit Police chief and Wayne County sheriff, already has received the blessing of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and several unions. Evans helped get felons off the street and started programs benefiting women while he was sheriff, said the Rev. Kenneth Flower, pastor of the Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church.
“We will mobilize our forces and do all we can to get the vote out August the 5th,” Flower said. “And we declare, this day, that Warren Evans will be the next county executive for Wayne County.”
Other pastors lining up behind Evans are Detroit Councilman and pastor Andre Spivey; the Rev. Marvin Winans, Perfecting Church; and the Rev. Charles G. Adams, Hartford Memorial Baptist Church.
Evans is part of a crowded Democratic primary field for the county executive position. County Executive Robert Ficano is running for re-election but a series of scandals in his administration and the county’s $100 million accumulated debt have attracted some well-known challengers. Evans; state Rep. Phil Cavanagh of Redford Township; Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara of Belleville; Westland Mayor Bill Wild; and six other Democratic candidates are running in the primary.
Ficano has been endorsed by the Rev. Wendell Anthony and the Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee. Cavanagh, a two-term state legislator and a former four-term Wayne County commissioner, has been endorsed by the Michigan American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25 and the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO. Wild has been endorsed by the Detroit Regional Chamber and has the support of Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. McNamara has been endorsed by the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party.
Evans resigned in 2010 as Detroit police chief after his relationship with a subordinate female officer was exposed. He also faced criticism after 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed when police, accompanied by a reality TV crew, fired a stun grenade through a window as they raided a Detroit home in search of a murder suspect.
Former Canton Township Supervisor Thomas Yack filed a challenge to Evans’ residency that a judge is expected to hear Thursday. In the complaint, Yack alleges Evans isn’t a “qualified elector” because he didn’t live in the county for 30 days before the April 22 filing deadline.
“Mr. Evans has admitted that he was not a resident of any city or township within Wayne County for at least 30 days prior to the filing deadline and is therefore ineligible to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the office of Wayne County Chief Executive Officer,” Yack wrote in the complaint.
Evans said he’s lived in Wayne County for all but two years and said he wasn’t concerned about the lawsuit.
“I’ve been a resident of Wayne County for a period longer than is required in the statute and so we’re very comfortable that we’ve complied with the law and that we’re going to be able to go forward,” he said.