NEW: Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey Becomes the Latest MIGOP Insider to Defect From James Craig’s Coronation

After originally giving glowing remarks ahead of James Craig’s first political speech in which he publicly described the gubernatorial candidate as “a man who shares our values and principles” and someone who “knows how to lead,” Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey endorsed Craig’s opponent Tudor Dixon today. 

This is the latest example of MIGOP’s handpicked candidate struggling with a campaign that still “hasn’t moved out of first gear.” 

Earlier this year, MIRS reported a “Hail Mary” attempt to encourage a more appealing candidate to jump in. Meanwhile, Gongwer wrote of an “intervention” staged by Craig’s own PAC leader and former Gov. John Engler for party members to warn chair Ron Weiser of the perils of maintaining a leadership strategy that continues to prop up Craig’s coronation.

Michigan reporters have also taken turns pointing out that “the honeymoon is over” for Craig, who has struggled to break away from the pack of “3000 Republicans running for governor.” Fundraising “fell off a cliff” compared to the retiree’s previous quarter, with “donations of $200 or less decreas[ing] 300% from July to October 2021.”

Since then, Craig has resorted to desperate tactics to restore his fundraising prowess, all while running on an extreme agenda that both “lack[s] specific policy” solutions and completely runs counter to improving the well-being of working families. Just last month, Craig sent a fundraising letter in which he went on the attack against law enforcement, calling members of the Michigan State Police “weak-kneed…underlings” that “abandon[ed] their jobs” to operate as cronies – then lied and cried sabotage when the predictable backlash ensued.

And just this week, Craig parted ways with yet another campaign manager after already going through a number of staff changes. In what was apparently an abrupt exit, the role is now unusually being split between two “interim” co-campaign managers.

MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:

“Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey’s endorsement of Tudor Dixon certainly must sting for James Craig, as the coronation grace he’s enjoyed since teasing his run last May has since been replaced with body blow after body blow for his spiraling disaster of a campaign. However, Shirkey only gets half-credit for giving the Detroit Dodger a taste of his own medicine. Tudor Dixon’s extreme agenda is right in step with Craig’s, showing that no matter who ultimately emerges from this messy primary, a lack of priorities for working families will still be on the ballot.”

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