Why James Craig’s campaign for governor is more than Michigan focused

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 18:15:52-04

Retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig said it on the Fox News Channel last night, “I’m running.”

Insiders say Craig is playing to an audience bigger than Detroit, the suburbs, and even Michigan. He’s playing to a national audience.

Next year are mid-term elections for Congress and the race for Michigan Governor. Michigan is one of the battleground states important to both political parties.

Rocky Raczkowski is the GOP Chairman in Oakland County and tells 7 Action News, “Which way Michigan goes the nation goes. For example, Michigan, Florida, Ohio.”

The stakes are high. Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has banked $10 million for a campaign next year.

Chief James Craig’s website went live yesterday and he says 2,000 people donated yesterday. You get a Chief Craig badge when you donate.

But get this, Craig also indicated he’s not in it to win it just yet, saying on The Paul W. Smith show on WJR Radio this morning, “A very exciting time. Certainly, launching an exploratory committee is a natural part of the process.”

Raczkowski says, “The campaign is just starting. Give him time. He’s the candidate. The campaign is actually a separate animal.”

A Craig Campaign Committee was filed with the state this morning. The main players are Strategic National, led by political consultant John Yob. Their website touts big clients including former President Trump.

Yob talked then about his client with our sister station in Grand Rapids saying, “I think President Trump is going to have a Republican House and a Republican Senate, so I think he’ll be able to get some things done.”

Nobody from the Craig campaign would talk with us on camera today.

Yob was a consultant to Raczkowski in 2010 in a race for Congress.

“I’m sure that he will focus the candidate, James Craig, Chief Craig to really hone in on the message that he wants to portray,” Raczkowski said.

No comment today from Governor Whitmer.

The Democratic Party issued a statement that said in part, Craig “stumbled” out of the gate and that it has been “clunky” and “sloppy.”

They’re questioning how long Craig will want it both ways, he’s running or he’s exploring.

The Michigan Gubernatorial Primary is August of 2022.