Detroit Police Chief James Craig, a Republican with a massive crossover appeal, just put the fear of God in embattled Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and will announce today he will challenge her in the next election.
Craig is a veteran of police departments around the country and has a reputation for getting things done no matter what party is in power. Craig would be a very tough opponent for Whitmer in what will be a critical election with national implications.
Craig showed how dangerous a candidate he will be on Fox News recently when he credibly ripped high profile individuals like LeBron James and Rep. Maxine Waters for their “toxic words that do nothing but undermine” the work that most police officers do.
He said “the vast majority of our men and women do it right,” before calling what Chauvin did “a stain on our profession.”
He has also not been afraid to call for high-profile Dems like Rashida Tlaib to resign over some of her comments.
While Craig, a Detroit native who has been police chief since 2013, has said that police officers should be held “accountable for violating their oath and breaking the law,” he has also been an outspoken defender of law enforcement.
He sharply criticized Detroit-area Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib after she tweeted in April that “policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist,” and there should be “no more policing.”
Craig called for Tlaib’s resignation in response, saying during an appearance on CNN that her comments were “reckless and disgusting.”
Detroit-based reporter Charlie LeDuff and Fox 2 reported Friday evening that Craig is preparing to retire from the department and is considering a political campaign.
The police chief has long cut a conservative profile. Craig has said that more Detroiters should be armed in order to drive down crime, and he has said that terrorists are less likely to attack Detroit because a substantial number of its residents have concealed carry permits.
…A February EPIC-MRA poll found Whitmer’s approval rating at 52 percent, down from 56 percent in September.
Republicans have been seeking out a viable challenger to Whitmer. Tudor Dixon, a conservative TV news anchor, is prepping a campaign, and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel floated a possible run at a recent meeting with party officials.
Senior Republicans contend that Craig would make a strong candidate because he could potentially win support in vote-rich Wayne County, which includes Detroit and which regularly gives Democratic candidates large margins of victory. Whitmer received more than 70 percent of the vote in 2018 in Wayne County, which is 39 percent Black.
What is responsible for fueling anti-police sentiment in America? Detroit Police Chief @JamesECraig and I expose the rhetoric and the reaction it has caused in recent weeks and months. pic.twitter.com/VkNdianUOY— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) May 9, 2021
NEW – Detroit Police Chief James Craig, a Black Republican who’s been an outspoken defender of law enforcement in recent weeks, is prepping a challenge to Gretchen Whitmer and has met with party leaders https://t.co/I86qn8RS5k— Alex Isenstadt (@politicoalex) May 7, 2021
Detroit police chief James Craig is running against MI Governor Whitmer?! This is exciting. https://t.co/Pn5AaURAdn— Gabriella Hoffman (@Gabby_Hoffman) May 8, 2021