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Former Detroit Police Chief Challenging Gretchen Whitmer In Governor Race Over Michigan’s ‘Leadership Void’

Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who is taking on Gretchen Whitmer (D) in Michigan’s gubernatorial race, said this week that his platform is all about support for both police and education.

“What’s missing here in Michigan and in our nation — a leadership void,” Craig told Fox Business [1]. “People are sick and tired of politics as usual. People do a lot of talking, but they don’t do anything. And so what Detroiters have come to learn and Michiganders are learning now is that I lead from the front.”


“We saw what happened in Detroit last year. Certainly, we were one of the few major cities that didn’t burn last year. We’re talking about leadership — building relationships,” he added. “Small businesses are sick and tired of these unilateral decisions. It’s not the pandemic. It’s really the decisions that were made. And then you talk about schools. I mean, so there’s a lot going on. But people want leadership. It’s just that simple.”

Craig officially entered the Michigan gubernatorial race as a Republican earlier this month.

“Michiganders deserve competent, consistent leaders who will always put people before politics,” Craig said in a statement at the time, according to NBC News [3]. “I spent 44 years protecting and serving my community, including eight years as chief of police in Detroit, and I’m prepared to lead from the front.”


Whitmer has been widely criticized by Republicans for enacting some of the strictest COVID-19 measures in the country on her state, shamelessly using the pandemic to try and control every aspect of the lives of Michiganders.

“The inconsistent, incompetent response to the pandemic by so many career politicians, including our current governor, just further highlights the need for new leadership,” Craig said after announcing his campaign. “The failed response permanently shuttered thousands of small businesses, kept our kids from receiving a proper education and destroyed livelihoods.”

The Michigan Democratic Party is already targeting Craig and trying to portray him as an establishment candidate, indicating that they are worried that he has a shot against Whitmer.

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“Even if Republican party insiders succeed in getting Craig past this messy and divisive primary, they won’t have much time to pivot to a unity campaign that will be mission-critical to winning a close election in battleground Michigan,” Lavora Barnes, the state’s Democratic chairwoman, wrote in a memo [6] to the press earlier in September.

“It’s unlikely that this crop of candidates will resist the urge to cry fraud and instead fall in line behind anyone post-primary, much less Craig who continues to dodge questions on his thoughts on 2020 and a wide range of issues,” she added.

The people of Michigan deserve a far better governor than Whitmer has been for them. We can only hope that Craig is successful in beating Whitmer and that he is able to get the state of Michigan back on track.

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