Former Detroit Police Chief Godbee to join race for 13th congressional district
Former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee launches campaign for Michigan’s new 13th congressional district.
The town native is due to announce his race Thursday at an event with church and community leaders at the New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
Since 2020, Godbee, an ordained minister who serves as chief of staff at Triumph Church in Detroit, “devotes his time, energy, and talents fully to the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the advocacy of social justice. in his role with the church,” said a notice for the event.
“That background, coupled with his 33 years of service in law enforcement, has given Godbee the depth and experience he sorely needs in Congress to advocate for ordinary people struggling to make ends meet in the richest country in the world.”
Godbee served as a Detroit police officer for 25 years until his resignation amid a sex scandal in 2012. He was accused of having an extramarital affair with a department internal affairs officer.
Upon retirement, Godbee worked as an adjunct professor at Wayne County Community College District in law enforcement administration and criminal justice. He also had a brief stint on AM radio.
In 2018, he became the Detroit Public Schools Community District’s new top cop, the district announced Thursday.
He was appointed by Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, who at the time said that Godbee had made “unfortunate personal mistakes” but deserved another chance and that his “previous service to the city warranted this opportunity”.
Godbee isn’t the only one seeking to lead the 13th congressional district, which covers much of Detroit and nearby communities in Wayne County. It was newly drawn and adopted by Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission last month.
Michael Griffie, an attorney who serves as senior general manager of external affairs at the Detroit chapter of Teach for America in Detroit, also announced his candidacy on Wednesday.
“District 13 is a special place for me,” he said in a statement. “My grandfather arrived here in Ecorse, Michigan in December 1948 and lived here for the rest of his life. My mother grew up here, and I live here and want to be a voice in Washington for the community that I love.
He and Godbee join former governor hopeful Shri Thanedar, who recently announced his campaign for the district.
Thanedar, a chemist and millionaire, can self-fund his campaign and committed $5 million to his efforts to get started.
He served a single term in Lansing as the Detroit State Representative for the 3rd District, whose boundaries fall under the new 12th congressional district.
Thanedar in 2018 narrowly won Detroit but finished third out of three candidates in the state’s gubernatorial primary after spending nearly $10 million of his fortune on the race.
The Democratic-leaning 13th District is currently represented by Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to the US House.
Tlaib, who replaced U.S. Representative John Conyers, announced this month that she plans to relocate and run for office in the new 12th District that includes Dearborn, Southfield and part of Detroit.
Her decision followed U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, planning to retire at the end of her term and not seek the seat in the 12th.