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Craig Covey (born 1957) is an American politician who served as mayor of Ferndale, Michigan. He was the first openly-gay mayor of any municipality in the state of Michigan. A Democrat, he resigned the office in 2010 to take a seat on the Oakland County Commission, where he served one term.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Covey has lived in Michigan since moving to the state to become executive director of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights 1985 and has lived in Ferndale since 1989.
Covey moved to Michigan from Ohio to head the Michigan Organization for Human Rights (now Equality Michigan) in 1985. He is credited with organizing Detroit's first Gay and Lesbian pride march, an event later known as Motor City Pride. He founded the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project. In 2001, he founded La Comunidad, a support group for gay Latino men in the metro Detroit area.
Covey was also CEO of the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project and Chief Operating Officer of the Michigan AIDS Coalition, the organization resulting from the merging of MAPP and the Michigan AIDS Fund in 2009. He left the Michigan AIDS Coalition the following year. In 2011, he created Ferndale Pride, a gay pride street festival that grew out of Motor City Pride's move from Ferndale to Detroit that same year.
Covey lost his first race for Ferndale City Council in 1997 by a wide margin, but was elected on his second try and served from 1999 to 2008. He was Ferndale's first gay city councilor. As a city council member, Covey introduced Ferndale's human rights ordinance in 2006, which was approved by voters in November of that year.
He was elected mayor of Ferndale on November 6, 2007 for a two-year term, succeeding three-term mayor Robert Porter, by defeating Tom Gagne 54% - 46%, Ferndale's first gay mayor. He was re-elected unopposed in November 2009. In 2010, he ran for the Oakland County Commission, winning a three-way Democratic primary on August 3, 2010 and besting a Republican in the November general election in a reliably Democratic district. He was defeated for re-election on August 7, 2012 by Helaine Zack (D-Huntington Woods) 54% to 46%. He ran again for mayor of Ferndale, Michigan on November 5, 2013, but was defeated. On November 8, 2016 he was defeated for Oakland County Sheriff by Mike Bouchard.
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- LGBT community of Metro Detroit
- "Screenwriter who won Oscar for 'Milk' may speak to Hope College students about filmmaking, but not gay rights". The Grand Rapids Press. October 30, 2009.
- "41 years of Pride". Out Post: 5. June 2013.
- "Ferndale mayor looks ahead to County Commission race". The Daily Tribune. August 4, 2010.
- Wendy Case (May 30, 2007). "Affirming Ferndale". Metro Times. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- Proxmire, Crystal (17 May 2012). "Motor City Pride: Educate, liberate & celebrate June 2-3". Between the Lines (newspaper). Retrieved 17 December 2017.
- Jun, Catherine (7 November 2007). "Ferndale elects first gay mayor". Detroit News. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
- Ann Mullen (April 4, 2001). "Breaking barriers". Metro Times. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- Sherri Begin Welch (July 28, 2009). "Helen Kozlowski-Hicks named CEO of Michigan AIDS Coalition". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
- Jessica Carreras (August 26, 2010). "Covey to leave Michigan AIDS Coalition". Between the Lines. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- Robertson, Tatsha (15 January 2003). "Finding Hope in Gay Enclaves Detroit and Suburbs Say Such Neighborhoods can Rejuvenate the City". Boston Globe. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
- Michael P. McConnell (October 1, 2006). "Gay rights ordinance battle begins in Ferndale, Opposing sides organizing for November showdown". Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- "Ferndale's Covey looks beyond election defeat". Dailytribune.com. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
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