CNN has tried to contact Cramer but has not heard back.
Other City Council candidates responded with shock during the forum on Thursday evening. They rejected Cramer’s views and suggested all people should be welcome.
Hayman took the comments personally. “I don’t even know that I can talk yet, I’m so upset and shocked,” she said at the forum. Hayman explained her father “was a hundred percent Syrian” and owned a grocery store in town. She felt Cramer’s remark was a slight against her family. “Basically, what you’ve said is that my father and his family had no business to be in this community,” she said to Cramer.
“My son-in-law is a black man and I have biracial grandchildren,” Hayman continued. “And I take this very personally what you’ve said, and I know that there’s nothing I can say that’s going to change your mind. … We just need to have more kindness — that’s it.”
WPHM reported that Hayman’s father was a longtime elected official and the forum was in a room named for him.
“Just checking the calendar here and making sure it’s still 2019,” candidate Mike Deising said. “Yeah, I thought we covered civil rights about 50 years ago.”
Exasperated, he said when it was his turn to answer, “I’ve got nothing, sorry.”
Wayne Pyden, who is running unopposed for mayor and is a former councilman, appeared surprised by the sentiment expressed by Cramer.
“I don’t see how anybody has stopped diversity here in town that I am aware of. I don’t know off the top of my head what type of initiatives the city could take to get more diversity,” Pyden said at the meeting. “But in my own heart and my own mind and people around me, people here at the table, everybody’s welcome to Marysville. I don’t care if you’re purple, whatever … you’re welcome to our community.”