Tonight’s first GOP Gubernatorial debate will feature a surprise no-show as Detroit Dodger and MIGOP-insider favorite James Craig is making a last minute “evasive tactic” and refusing to appear in Livingston County.
The news comes one day after his campaign admitted he likely did submit fraudulent signatures on his nominating petitions. He “acknowled[ed]…possible issues with signatures,” and said he’s “certainly not going to run from” the points laid out in the challenges as he enjoyed the arrival of spring weather from the parking lot of Detroit watering hole Sinbad’s.
Craig has also been losing endorsements since his highest profile supporter U.S. Representative Jack Bergman publicly withdrew his support. The Congressman took issue with the retiree’s approach “that continues to neglect our grassroots across the First District and has ignored campaigning in northern Michigan and the U.P.”
Per MIRS, over the past six days, Craig also lost the endorsements of state Representative John Damoose (R-HD-107) and Otsego and Grand Traverse GOP chairs Rob Pallarito and Haider Kazim. Yesterday, state Senator Dale Zorn (R-SD-17) was also removed from Craig’s endorsement page.
The previous avalanche of negative coverage for Craig’s “adrift” campaign surrounded the departure of his third campaign manager in a row and the “absurd comparison” he made between himself and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
He also continues to maintain a light campaign schedule and hasn’t managed to visit areas of Michigan “practically synonymous with Republican politics” – underlining the widely-held notion that the Detroit Dodger’s stumbling campaign still “hasn’t moved out of first gear.”
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“Tonight, Detroit Dodger James Craig is pulling off his biggest trick yet by hiding from his opponents and Michiganders alike. Given the state of his stumbling campaign, it’s tough to say if he’s dodging the Livingston County debate for fear of being held accountable for his fraudulent activity or if not wanting to get needled on his wrong-for-Michigan agenda is the bigger motivating factor. Either way, James Craig is once again showing working families that, to him, leading from the front really just means cowering on the sidelines.”