Bill Lucas

In honor of Black History Month, we would like to shine a light on Bill Lucas.

Lucas created waves in Michigan’s political force in the 1980s when he decided to run for the first executive of Wayne County and Governor of Michigan. Lucas made headlines as he was seen as a controversial candidate.

While he gained success running as a democrat, Lucas felt as if the party was focusing more on themselves rather than the people they claimed they were to support. Instead, he decided he would join the G.O.P and later became a member that found himself in the news. Despite his wishes of wanted to not be known as “the black candidate”, he still was known for the strides he created for the black community. As the first black sheriff in Wayne County, Michigan, he would have also been the first black governor of Michigan had he won.

There is no denying that Lucas helped open doors for black people in the political world, especially in the G.O.P., he also received backlash. In 1989, Lucas was nominated by former President Bush to become the next head of the Justice Department of the Civil Rights division. Following the announcement, the NAACP was quite vocal about their opposal to Lucas as they felt he did not truly lend a helping hand to the black community in Michigan and has never worked on any civil rights case in his lifetime.

Lucas was able to create the perfect parallel of backlash and support during his political career. While he was able to achieve the success of becoming the executive of Wayne County, he was not able to take the title of Governor of Michigan.

Today, Lucas is 91 years old and stepped out of the political spotlight in 2004.