DETROIT (AP) — William Lucas has died at age 94. Lucas, who was Black, was Wayne County’s first elected executive who switched political parties to become the Republican nominee for Michigan governor in 1986.

Lucas died of natural causes Monday. He was Wayne County sheriff and county executive before becoming a Republican in 1986. Republicans believed Lucas could get crucial votes in heavily populated southeastern Michigan, but Democratic Gov. Jim Blanchard won in a landslide.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says Lucas was a “fine public servant.” Lucas ended his public career as a Detroit-area judge.