(Mid)Weekly Roundup: Chaos for James Craig, Kevin Rinke Angles for an Upset, and We’re Just Thankful for Front Row Seats

We at MDP were in a thankful mood for all the positive feedback our weekly roundups have gotten as the 2022 cycle takes shape, so this week we’re getting it to you a little early. Ok fine, a major clown car shakeup happened yesterday and we couldn’t wait to talk about it:

Call Your Office, James!

Garrett Soldano started the week referring to James Craig (namelessly, again) as the MIGOP establishment’s “bought and paid for” handpicked candidate, but the price of propping him up has gotten too steep for at least one insider. 

The fanfare and momentum that all but had the Republican gubernatorial primary locked up in favor of Craig months ago turned into a major headwind last night as MIRS broke John Yob would be exiting as general consultant for Craig’s campaign. Look, staff shifts happen all the time, it’s not necessarily news on it’s own. A strategist as seasoned as Yob knows that, which is why he made sure he slammed the door extra loud on his way out with a blistering statement spelling doom for the campaign and candidate heading in a direction that he ultimately “didn’t agree with”:

“The Chief has every right to run the non-traditional campaign that he wants to run and thinks will be successful…I wish him nothing but the best as the intensity of the primary competition increases in the election year.”

Yob didn’t get into what that ‘different direction’ entailed, but we’re guessing it had something to do with Craig claiming he went on a statewide “listening tour” that “apparently never materialized,” or the Detroit Dodger’s continued refusal to answer Michiganders’ questions, or Craig’s complete fiasco of a campaign reboot, or his frequent national cable hits he books to talk about everything but Michigan issues

If you’re a Craig staffer or party insider that’s also eyeing the exits, blink twice. Ron Weiser will have no choice but convince (see: bribe) Craig to drop out if anyone else jumps ship. Bidding starts at $200,000.

Out-of-Touch Millionaire Kevin Rinke Gets In

Because timing is always impeccable in campaigns, the Yob news of course dropped just a few days after millionaire Kevin Rinke officially joined the Republican primary with a six-figure TV ad buy, a major signal that he intends to follow through on his promise to dump millions of his personal fortune into the race. 

And that’s where the differences end. Like James Craig and the rest of the crowded field of 12, Rinke has been spending the week echoing the baseless claim that fraud was a factor in the 2020 election. He even dragged the race further rightward by pledging to “audit the voter rolls” – an extreme step that rivals the most vocal candidates on this issue like Garrett Soldano and Ryan Kelley. He also came out against saving hardworking Michigan families money within the first 48 hours of being in the race. 

We will applaud Rinke for at least having an issues page, though thin. Maybe it will inspire the other candidates to actually start putting some markers in the ground on what they plan to prioritize to keep Michigan first, since we know it isn’t infrastructure.

Have a happy Thanksgiving from all of us at MDP!

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