Black Republican William Lucas dies at 94

William Lucas, a black Republican who made waves within the party and ran for governor of Michigan, has died at age 94. Lucas died of natural causes on Monday.

According to a report by The Associated Press Lucas was Wayne County’s first elected executive who switched political parties and became a Republican nominee for governor in 1986.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says Lucas was a “fine public servant,” during his time in office, which included a stint as a circuit court judge during a political career that spanned several decades.

“Bill’s work, love and encouragement will continue to create a dynasty that prioritizes family, education and discipline,” Laval Perry, a son-in-law of Mr. Lucas, said in a statement according to Detroit News.

“He showed his value and appreciation for each of us in his kind-spirited, gentle way. He had a humble spirit and lived a life of integrity and honor regardless of what anyone thought.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was quick to express condolences to Lucas’ family Monday:

“I was very sorry to learn of the passing of Bill Lucas,” the mayor said in a statement. “He was a fine public servant who provided decades of dedicated service to the people of Detroit and Wayne County. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Via the Detroit News:

Mr. Lucas served as a Justice Department appointee of President George H.W. Bush and was appointed to Detroit Recorder’s Court in 1993 by Gov. John Engler. However, the following year, he was defeated for election by Kym Worthy, who is now Wayne County prosecutor.

Two years later, he ran for Wayne County Circuit Court, winning election this time. Discussing his candidacy with The Detroit News in April 1996, Mr. Lucas said his decision to seek office again showed he was not stuck in the past. “You should never think about who you once were, but who you are now,” he said.