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James Craig on campaign for Governor: “I’m running”

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 10:14 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - James Craig, a Republican and until recently Detroit’s police chief, appeared to announce that he will run for Governor of the state of Michigan.

Craig made the announcement Wednesday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” He has presented a “law-and-order” message that places an emphasis on leadership, likely drawing from his own experiences as a police chief. If elected, Craig would be the state’s first Black governor.

Although he is the eighth Republican to form a candidate committee, Craig is the best known and is considered a serious contender, despite being untested in electoral politics. Once a Democrat, the 61-year-old would be just the second Black major-party gubernatorial nominee if he wins the 2022 primary and faces Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Craig, who retired in June, had been signaling his intention to run for months. He has blamed Democrats for school closures during the coronavirus pandemic and has criticized Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions by saying America is not a “monarchy.”

Michigan has long been a swing state and Whitmer is seen as potentially vulnerable. Midterm elections typically favor the party opposite the president. While no first-term governor has lost in nearly 60 years, she will be the first incumbent to seek reelection at the same time her party controls the White House in 48 years.

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