Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Wednesday night he was running for Michigan governor after he launched an exploratory committee for the post earlier today.
Craig, a Republican, retired as Detroit Police Chief on June 1. Seven other Republicans have formed campaign committees, but Craig is better known than the other candidates and is seen by some Michigan Republicans as one of the top candidates to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. .
Craig’s campaign said in a press release early Wednesday morning that an official campaign launch and rallies would likely take place after Labor Day. But Craig took to Fox News Wednesday night and told Tucker Carlson he was “running.”
“We’re part of a movement,” Craig said. “We are going to take over the state.
For now, Craig is starting to fundraise and the campaign has announced that he will be doing a statewide listening tour.
“I led as a police chief – and started my life – the streets of Detroit,” Craig said in a statement. “Now it’s time to travel around the state and visit other communities. I will speak with law enforcement, host small business roundtables and meet with constituents back home to hear about the negative impact of the governor’s current policies on their communities. , their workplaces and their families. “
In a video posted by the campaign, Craig praised his career in law enforcement and his experience as the head of the Detroit Police Department. He highlighted his efforts to keep Detroit safe last summer amid nationwide protests against police killings of blacks. He also spoke about his memories of the Detroit riots in 1967 and his work to improve the city’s police service.
“We led forward, turned the tide and made Detroit a safer city,” Craig said in the video.
Craig also dealt a thinly veiled blow to Whitmer, saying Michigan was “fed up” with politicians not following their own rules. Whitmer apologized in May after being photographed breaking COVID regulations at a restaurant with friends.
Since retiring from the police service, Craig has made several appearances on Fox News and recently gave political speeches at GOP events in Jackson and Grand Rapids. At the Grand Rapids event on Monday, Craig vowed to win over voters in some urban areas. He also criticized Whimter’s decision to close schools for part of the pandemic and his handling of unemployment claims.
“You can’t change the world sitting at home in your pajamas and get free money while you wait for Queen Gretchen to promulgate her royal decree,” Craig said, according to The Detroit News.
In a statement, Michigan Democratic Party President Lavora Barnes said, “James Craig is just another politician who thinks he can walk through this messy and crowded GOP field of far-right extremists without no responsibility for its positions.
With more than a year to go before the general election, Whitmer has created a formidable war chest for the campaign. Her campaign announced on Tuesday that it had raised more than $ 8.5 million so far this year and had more than $ 10 million in cash.