MICHIGAN — Detroit Police Chief James Craig will reportedly challenge Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the state’s 2022 gubernatorial race, according to reports.
Craig is expected to announce his retirement from the police department Monday and will detail his plans in a subsequent press conference, the Detroit News reported. The newspaper cited a source who said that Craig will not discuss his candidacy at the retirement announcement out of respect for Democratic Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. The mayor is a Whitmer supporter and will appear alongside Craig at the retirement announcement.
“I’m a lifelong public servant,” Craig said. “I want to continue to serve.”
Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser reportedly acknowledged that he spoke with Craig and other potential contenders.
“I think he would make a fine candidate, should he choose to run,” Weiser said.
If he were to win the Republican primary, Craig would be the second black person to be on a general election ballot for governor as a Republican. Former Wayne County Executive William Lucas ran in 1986 but lost to Democrat James Blanchard, the Washington Examiner reported.
Craig recently went after Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., after her latest call for “no more policing” in the wake of 20-year-old Daunte Wright’s death after he tried to flee from a detention stop in Minnesota, Law Officer reported.
Tlaib has faced a mounting backlash after calling for an end to “policing, incarceration, and militarization” – the latest in a long string of controversial comments from the sophomore congresswoman.
“She’s reckless,” Craig said in April. “I’d love to see her resign. I’d throw her a goodbye party.”
“Who is she speaking for?” he continued. “When you talk about abolishing police, incarceration, when you talk about safe cities – what do you think the residents in Detroit want? I know. I speak with them.”
A bid from Craig might put him up against another prominent black Republican, John James, in the primary. James, who lost a bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Gary Peters in 2020, is also reportedly considering a run for governor.