Former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. has suspended his campaign for the newly drawn 13th Congressional District, saying there are too many candidates who could split the Black vote.
“In an election cycle as truncated as this one is proving to be, I have enough support to split the African-American vote or siphon off votes that could be codified behind a consensus candidate,” Godbee said in the statement.
Godbee said he hopes other candidates “will consider putting the need to have Black representation above their own ambitions.”
Godbee was among 10 Democrats vying for the seat that covers much of Detroit, Hamtramck, the Grosse Pointes, and northern downriver communities.
A recent survey by Public Policy Polling last week shows that Godbee ranked sixth among potential candidates in the race, with 5% of the vote. John Conyers III, the 31-year-old son of the late U.S. Rep. John Conyers, led the survey with 19% of the vote.
Former Detroit City Councilwoman Sharon McPhail came in second at 9%, followed by state Rep. Shri Thanedar at 7%. Detroit schools board member Sherry Gay-Dagnogo and state Sen. Adam Hollier both garnered 6%. FOCUS: Hope CEO Portia Roberson had 4%.
Also running are Adrian Tonon, a businessman and the city of Detroit’s first nightlife ambassador, and attorney Michael Griffie.
“When I announced my candidacy for the 13th District Congressional seat, I did so with the noblest of intentions,” Godbee said. “Noble intentions must however be paired with a level of maturity to understand whether your presence can add value to a campaign or be divisive.”
Godee serves as chief of staff for Triumph Church.
He said he plans to endorse a candidate in the future.
The 13th District is open because incumbent U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, decided to run in the newly created 12th District, which includes parts of west Detroit, Dearborn, and Southfield, following the redrawing of congressional boundaries. The primary is set for Aug. 2.