DETROIT/DEARBORN — Wayne County Sheriff Raphael “Ray” Washington received major endorsements at a rally on Tuesday, as he runs to retain his position in this August’s primary election.
The endorsement rally took place at the Union Carpenters and Millwrights Skilled Training Center on the city’s west side, a 147,000 square foot, state-of-the-art training facility for local union carpenters. A fitting venue for the display of support from major local unions and public officials.
The rally saw remarks and presence by notable endorsers of Washington, like Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, The Arab American News Publisher Osama Siblani, Huntington Bank Board Chairman Gary Torgow and Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Wendell Anthony.
The campaign’s theme for the event was “We Are Stronger Together.”
“I am humbled to stand with you today,” Washington said. “We have people from all backgrounds – all races, creeds and colors; young and the young at heart; from across the county, standing together in unity for a better future. That’s what this campaign is all about – standing stronger together.”
At beginning of last year, Washington was appointed by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garret as Wayne County sheriff to fill the position left vacant after former Sheriff Benny Napoleon died from COVID-19 in December 2020.
“We are stronger together because we look out for one another like we did during the pandemic,” Washington said. “We are stronger together because we help one another like we did during the flooding last summer.”
Washington is standing for election this August to finish out the remainder of the four-year term, till the end of 2024, and is competing against Democrats Walter Epps of Plymouth and Joan Merriewether of Detroit. Elections filings show Washington resides in Livonia.
Livonia Mayor Maureen Brosnan and Westland Mayor Bill Wild were also at the event in support of Washington.
Besides local Democratic officials, the campaign has also garnered endorsement from labor and community organizations like the Michigan Regional Association of Carpenters and Millwrights, Michigan Building Trades, United Auto Workers, Wayne County Democratic Black Caucus and more.
A 39-year veteran of both the Detroit Police Department and the County Sheriff’s Office, Washington has vowed to “bring people together and finish the job his predecessor started,” his campaign said.
Washington wants to create a new jail facility “complete with new programs to help those incarcerated, filling all of the vacant positions at the jail, building upon the Sheriff’s Community Outreach Urban Team and keeping the staff, visitors and jail population free from COVID-19,” said the campaign.
Sheriff Washington also had a well-attended fundraising event on Wednesday, May 18, at Byblos Banquet Hall organized by Arab Americans for Sheriff Washington, led by Wayne County Undersheriff Mike (Maher) Jaafar. Several leaders spoke at the event, including Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, Northville School Board of Education Trustee Angela Jaafar, Dearborn mayor Abdullah Hammoud, Michigan Solicitor General General Fadwa Hammoud, The Arab American News Publisher Osama Siblani and Sheriff Washington.