Wayne County Sheriff and former Detroit mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon endorsed on Wednesday U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In a statement, Napoleon said Booker “understands the problems facing urban communities and communities of color, and is ready to lead with compassion and strength. … He is just the candidate we need to energize voters in places like Detroit, who are essential to winning back the White House in 2020.”
In the 2016 election, almost 40,000 fewer people voted in the Democratic stronghold of Wayne County when compared to 2012, when former President Barack Obama ran for reelection. That number far surpassed now-President Donald Trump’s 10,704-vote margin of victory three years ago.
In his statement shared by Booker’s campaign, Napoleon also said he has “known Cory Booker for years and [continues] to be personally inspired by his comprehensive plans to take on criminal justice reform, combat gun violence and address the rise in violence incited by white nationalism.”
Currently, Booker is significantly trailing the major contenders in the Democratic presidential primary field, averaging just more than 2% support in the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
Napoleon follows other prominent Detroit politicians, like Mayor Mike Duggan and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield), in giving an endorsement well before the state’s primary election in March. Duggan and Lawrence endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), respectively.