Michigan Dems Statement on James Craig’s Senate Announcement

The Messenger: “…What’s in store for Michigan once Craig challenges Rogers: a brutal Republican primary where once-friendly allies are already accusing each other of skullduggery and outright deceit”

LANSINGMichigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes issued the following statement on James Craig’s entrance into the “caustic” and “radioactive” Republican “Senate showdown” in Michigan: 

“Michigan Republicans’ nasty, chaotic Senate primary has gone from bad to worse. Their intra-party fight is guaranteed to leave them with a nominee who is badly damaged and out of step with working families. Craig has a long record of dodging accountability and leaving Michiganders behind, from standing against Michigan’s auto workers to backing an abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest.”

What to know about James Craig and Michigan Republicans’ “brutal” Senate primary:

  • The Messenger: Private Power-Player Phone Calls Roil Michigan’s GOP Senate Race: ‘These Things Get Ugly’: “…what’s in store for Michigan once Craig challenges Rogers: a brutal Republican primary where once-friendly allies are already accusing each other of skullduggery and outright deceit.”
  • Michigan Advance: GOP gov. candidate James Craig says he supports abortion ban in secret recording: “Republican gubernatorial candidate James Craig said if elected he would block any attempt by Democrats to repeal Michigan’s 90-year-old ban on abortion, according to a secret audio recording obtained by Metro Times.”
  • The Gander: Republican James Craig Sides With Canadian Anti-Vaxxers Over Michigan Auto Workers: “It cost local auto workers as much as $51 million in wages last week, but Craig—a GOP candidate for governor and a former police chief—supported the illegal blockade of the Ambassador Bridge.”
  • Michigan Radio: Public records: Gubernatorial candidate James Craig wasn’t a licensed officer as chief of DPD: “Michigan gubernatorial candidate James Craig was not a licensed law enforcement officer in the State of Michigan during his tenure as Detroit police chief. His certification status is “lapsed,” according to public records obtained by Michigan Radio.”
  • Detroit Free Press: Lack of police certification continues to haunt former Detroit Chief James Craig: “An issue that has dogged former Detroit Police Chief James Craig for years has reemerged as he seeks the Republican nomination for governor — the fact he served as chief in both Detroit and Cincinnati without being a certified police officer… But Michigan Radio reported Tuesday that when Craig took over the Detroit police force in 2013, he told the Free Press through a spokeswoman that he would voluntarily complete the process to become a fully certified officer. Public records show that Craig never followed through on that promise, Michigan Radio reported.”
  • Detroit Free Press: “Soon after he returned to Detroit to become police chief in 2013, James Craig told a community meeting how he fled a suspected carjacker who approached his unmarked police car one night, while he was stopped at a red light on Jefferson. The image of a police chief, driving a police vehicle, fleeing a suspected criminal instead of making an arrest — or at least calling for backup — drew criticism at the time.”

Michigan Republicans are “fretting” and should be “rattled” about the “fantasy” they could win the 2024 Senate race:

  • Huffington Post: This Swing-State Senate Primary Will Test Whether Republicans Can Quit MAGA: “Michigan, home to one of the most MAGA-crazed GOP bases in the country, is set to host the premier Senate showdown between loyalists to former President Donald Trump and establishment Republicans focused on electability above all else.”
  • Conservative Detroit News Columnist Nolan Finley: “It’s a nice fantasy to think Republicans could fill a Michigan Senate seat for the first time in nearly a quarter century. But to consider it likely requires a conjuring of an alternate universe to the one we’re living in today.”
  • The Hill: Why Michigan Republicans are fretting about 2024: “Michigan Republicans are anxious about 2024 as the party recovers from a disappointing midterm and struggles to find a way to reset in a key battleground state…Republicans have been facing electoral headwinds in the state’s Senate races for decades now. The last time a Republican won a Senate seat in Michigan was in 1994, when former Sen. Spencer Abraham took the seat. He was the first Republican in the state to win a Senate race since 1972” […]  “The barrage of negative press has many Michigan Republicans worried that the state of the party will hinder their efforts in what is expected to be a major political battleground next year… Republicans critical of the state party have expressed doubt that they will be able to right the ship given the party’s financial issues and infighting.”


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