MDP Statement on James Craig’s Campaign Announcement

LANSING — Today, the Michigan Democratic Party is responding to James Craig’s “exploratory” gubernatorial campaign announcement by reminding Michigan voters that he is nothing but a serial question-dodger who thinks he’ll be able to navigate this crowded Republican primary by continuing to hide where he stands on the issues — just like a textbook politician. 

Despite appearing on national cable shows a whopping 27 times over the past two months — significantly outpacing the access he’s given to local television outlets — Craig has yet to establish where he stands on issues of importance to Michigan families, like how he plans to continue on Whitmer’s successes in growing economy faster than any other Midwestern state and creating 11,000 auto jobs in her first year in office. If he ever decides to address questions directly, Michiganders should brace for canned and poll-tested talking points from the gang of consultants and political insiders Craig has surrounded himself with.

The few ideological crumbs Craig has shared so far signal that putting Michigan first won’t be a priority for him.

He’s echoed hyperpartisan talking points in support of arming teachers in classrooms across Michigan. And in the wake of the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that killed five and injured 140 officers on January 6th, Craig had more criticism for Capitol Police than the criminal insurrectionists who attacked them, blaming those on duty for offering “very little resistance” and letting them “walk right in.”

In Michigan, there is no legal distinction between an exploratory committee and an official campaign committee. Craig’s entry brings the candidate count to eight as he joins a crowded primary of conservative extremists and Big Lie foot soldiers vying for governor in a bitter race to the right that already includes pseudoscientist Garrett Soldano, insurrectionist Ryan Kelley, online commentator Tudor Dixon, and four others.

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes released the following statement:

“James Craig is just another politician that thinks he can get through this messy and crowded GOP field of far-right extremists without any accountability on his stances — clinging to this non-existent ‘exploratory’ status is just the latest of his question-dodging tactics. He should immediately explain to voters why he’s for guns in schools and has looked the other way on violent militia uprisings in Washington and Lansing.

“Meanwhile, Governor Whitmer continues to exhibit decisive, steady leadership that has saved lives and put Michigan on the path to recovery as our state yields the dividends of a budget surplus and the fastest growing economy in the Midwest. In addition to her strong pandemic response, Whitmer’s made the largest investment in K-12 education in state history – without raising taxes – and created 11,000 new auto jobs in her first year in office. With these successes in mind, Michiganders will have no trouble identifying the vast differences between a governor that has and will continue to put Michigan first and whoever Republicans push through this expensive and divisive primary.”

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