James Craig makes Mid-Michigan stop as part of campaign kickoff

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 4:56 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The election may be more than a year away, but the battle for Michigan’s next governor is already underway.

James Craig’s gubernatorial announcement in Detroit Tuesday morning was delayed by protesters. Dozens of people from the group Detroit Will Breathe chanted over Craig as he was only able to say, “I’m running for governor,” before leaving.

Later in the day, he traded the chaotic scene for a quiet afternoon at Jeff Osterle’s farm in Leslie.

“There’s some things we need to get done, and one of them which is critically important to me is supporting businesses,” said Craig. “We’re not doing very well in the recovery process. The businesses don’t feel supported.”

The republican is challenging Governor Gretchen Whitmer to lead the state. Early polls show the two are in a close race.

“She’s pretty much getting her base support around 48, 50%” said Ed Sarpolus, executive director of Target Insyght. “No matter who is matched up with her it’s usually close, tied up or a few points, but that doesn’t mean that she’s poised to lose. What it’s saying is right now people are not sure. They’re looking for somebody else.”

“I’m not taking it for granted. I’m excited. Again, I think what it does say is people are desperate of change,” said Craig.

Craig is touting the fact that he is not a politician. He says he voted for former President Trump twice and would like to meet with him soon.

“He hasn’t been defined yet, and so he’s afraid as you saw when he announced in fact, he wants to say very little because he has to answer questions and he has to take positions that he knows will hurt him in Detroit. Right now in Detroit, Governor Whitmer leads him by 83 to 14,” said Sarpolus.

Still, Sarpolus says it won’t be an easy race.

“She has to work great at momentum of some kind because otherwise she’s going to be running against Donald Trump in the image of James Craig next year.”

Michigan’s primary election will be held in August of 2022.

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