Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, a Donald Trump supporter who previously ran for Michigan governor but was disqualified, announced in a social media video Tuesday (Oct. 3) that he’s a GOP primary candidate for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat next year.
Craig told The New York Times that he’s a conservative populist who would reach across the aisle to work with Democrats, as well as Republicans, on immigration, national security and law-and-order issues, adding that voters are “sick and tired of partisan politics and being lied to.”
The Detroit native, who headed the Detroit Police Department from 2013 to 2021, faces an uphill climb to win the GOP nomination. He enters the race trailing former Rep. Mike Rogers, the national Republican Party’s preferred candidate. GOP leaders are concerned that Craig’s bankruptcy, multiple divorces, and other personal issues would diminish his standing with voters.
Craig has contacted Trump's presidential campaign officials about his senatorial bid but has not communicated directly with the former president.
For several months, Craig has been considering his senatorial bid to replace retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, who announced earlier this year that she would step down after four terms in office, The Detroit Free Press reports.
Craig, who has touted his law-and-order credentials, was police chief during the Black Lives Matter racial justice protests in response to the police murder of George Floyd. About 50 people surrounded Craig, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “No justice, no peace, James Craig is still police" when Craig announced his candidacy for Michigan governor in 2021.
In that race, he led early in the GOP primary, but his campaign ended when state officials disqualified him over forged signatures on his nominating petition and insufficient valid ones.
In a failed attempt, Craig’s campaign filed a lawsuit to force his name on the ballot. He later sued petition circulators and a subcontractor, claiming they were responsible for the fake nominating signatures.