Photos used with permission from James Craig's campaign
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Former Detroit Chief of Police James Craig has announced that he is running for the U.S. Senate seat in Michigan currently held by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D), who has stated that she will not seek re-election in 2024. Blaze News spoke with Craig about why he hopes to win the support of voters in Michigan.
Craig told Blaze News that he offers a decidedly "pro-America" agenda, and he gave Blaze News an idea of what such an agenda would include. For one thing, the U.S. "shouldn't send ... another penny" to Ukraine, he said, as there is "corruption there" and we have problems here at home. "What about our own borders?" he asked rhetorically.
He also slammed Joe Biden for giving $6 billion to Iran, money that Iranian leaders then reportedly used to help finance the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel over the weekend. "We're on the brink of a world war," Craig said.
"Why are we negotiating with terrorists?" he added.
Craig, a Detroit native, also expressed interest in issues that affect Michiganders in particular. In general, he supports the United Auto Workers' strike, especially as Biden has promoted electric vehicle mandates that Craig estimates will ultimately cost "30 to 40 percent" of all autoworkers their jobs.
He said he is also working with local leaders in the middle of the state to fight back against a company with ties to communist China building an EV battery plant there. Gotion Inc., which is headquartered in Silicon Valley but has a parent company in China, intends to build the plant in Mecosta County, about an hour north of Grand Rapids.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has endorsed the Gotion plant, claiming that it will create thousands of jobs for rural Michiganders. But Craig — who attempted to oppose Whitmer in the 2022 governor's race but couldn't after he was disqualified from the Republican gubernatorial primary over supposedly fraudulent signatures on his campaign filings — claimed that the Gotion plant would be bad for Michigan and for all of America in the long run for one simple reason: Americans shouldn't "do business with our enemies."
In his conversation with Blaze News and in the video announcing his candidacy, Craig also referred to a general malaise he has sensed in Michigan and in America. "People are sick and tired," he told Blaze News. He then listed several reasons for their frustration: skyrocketing inflation; struggling small business owners; underperforming schools, especially in "vulnerable neighborhoods"; open borders; and the failure of "Biden economics," among other issues.
Craig believes that the reason for these and other problems is that too many so-called public servants have forgotten that their main job is to deliver for their constituents. "Whether you're a mayor, a governor, a senator, city council person, you are in fact a public servant," he said. "I think some who are fortunate enough to sit in those seats, they lose sight of who they work for.
"I never lost sight in 44 years [of law enforcement] that my employer were the people I served," he added.
Craig indicated that his lengthy experience with law enforcement has helped shape his political opinions and perhaps prepared him for a career transition into politics. He was raised by parents who were "JFK Democrats," he told Blaze News, and in the larger black community in which he grew up, people almost uniformly identified as Democrat, even if their personal opinions were rather conservative.
However, a meeting with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) more than 30 years ago, after the L.A. riots following the acquittal of police officers involved in the beating of Rodney King, caused Craig to question whether the Democratic Party really represented his views. Craig had been working his way up the ranks in the LAPD at the time, and as a black officer and the president of a police association, he was asked to meet with Waters and "a very prominent African-American minister," whom Craig did not name.
During that meeting, both Waters and the unidentified minister "said some unthinkable things referencing black police officers," including a "racial epithet" that he considered degrading, Craig claimed. Craig said he immediately ended the meeting.
"It was at that point I started to transition and wonder, 'Why am I a Democrat? Am I a Democrat? ... What have [Democrats] really done?" he explained to Blaze News.
In the years since, Craig said that his political opinions have continued to evolve. Now, the Republican Party, especially under the leadership of former President Donald Trump, better represents his values and his vision for America, he said. He also believes many of his viewpoints are just common sense and shouldn't be considered "partisan" issues anyway.
"I've always believed as public servant, I serve everyone," Craig said. "And I believe the same thing running for public office, as a public servant, I serve everyone, whether it's Republicans, Democrats, [or] independents.
"That's just my wiring as a public servant," he said.
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Sr. Editor, News
Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.