NEW: On the Campaign Trail, James Craig Can’t Keep His Story Straight

According to a new report by Bridge Michigan, gubernatorial candidate James Craig’s actual political background has been inconsistent with the story he’s been telling on the stump since joining the primary in July – especially when describing when he became a Republican. 

Previously, Craig said his time serving as police chief in Portland, Maine – a tenure that lasted from 2009 to 2011 – was the “turning point” for becoming a Republican. He repeated the claim definitively for months as a central part of his stump speech. But records obtained by Bridge Michigan show Craig registered as a Democrat at least a year later, and when confronted with questions this week, Craig changed his story. Read more below:

James Craig Today: “I didn’t turn on a light switch in Maine and become a Republican”

Craig in July said he transitioned to becoming a Republican during his tenure as police chief in Portland, Maine, where he served from 2009 to 2011.

Records obtained by Bridge Michigan show Craig still identified as a Democrat at least one year later, in October 2012, when he was chief of police in Cincinnati. […]

Craig told Bridge MIchigan he did not recall “being a Democrat” at that time but denied the registration form was inconsistent with what he called a “slow and steady” evolution.

“I didn’t turn on a light switch in Maine and become a Republican,” Craig said after a campaign event in Lansing.

James Craig For the Last Six Months: “Portland, Maine, that’s when the transition took place”

  • July 6, 2021 Jackson County Speech – Craig: “My transition in becoming a Republican became more a reality after my appointment as chief of police in the city of Portland, Maine.” [Facebook
  • July 7, 2021 Detroit News article: “Craig said his transition to the Republican Party came full circle while working as a police chief in Portland, Maine, where he had the responsibility to approve concealed pistol licenses.” [Detroit News]
  • July 24, 2021 Newsmax TV Interview – Craig: “It wasn’t until I continued that maturity…Portland, Maine, that’s when the transition took place.” [Newsmax]
  • September 15, 2021 Detroit Free Press article: “Craig has pointed to his time in Portland as a turning point in his conversion from a Democrat to a Republican.” [Detroit Free Press]

MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:

“Between his refusal to disclose which businesses’ boards he gets paid to sit on, to who is paying him to give speeches and executive advice, to his ‘unusual’ campaign expenditures, and now these incongruencies between his story and what records show, James Craig is leaving Michiganders with more questions than answers with each passing day. It shouldn’t be this hard to just tell the truth about your own personal story, but it’s clear Michigan voters can’t trust James Craig.”

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