John James promotes 'Nickel Promise' gifts to charities

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

The U.S. Senate campaign of Republican John James on Wednesday announced it is donating $5,000 to various charities around the state as part of an ongoing series of pledges.

Calling it "The Nickel Promise," the James campaign has promised to give a nickel for every dollar raised and will release a 30-second advertisement on Thursday morning to tout the donations as more than just talk.

U.S. Senate candidate John James gives a speech at the rally.

"Politicians in the 2020 cycle are going to be raising billions of dollars to convince people they care about their communities and not a nickel of it will go to help Michiganders," James said in a statement. "But I thought, ‘Why wait? Why not start doing good on Day One.'"

James, who ran and lost to Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2018, faces junior Democratic U.S. Senator Gary Peters this fall. Both candidates are raising large amounts of cash, with Peters netting $15.7 million and James at $13 million so far this election cycle.

The charitable donations from James are going to a variety of causes, including $200,000 to Central City Integrated Health in Detroit to help with the purchase of personal protective equipment for in-person visits to the facility. Some of the other donations included $10,000 to the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation in Grand Rapids and $11,000 to the River Rouge School District.

In the ad, James said the name was based on the so-called "Nickel Ride," the first time a flight student in the Army goes into a helicopter.

"In West Point, you learn ‘mission first, people always’ and that is what I am focused on doing," James said. "When I decided to run, I made the commitment that I wasn’t going to wait until I got elected to make a positive difference in the lives of Michiganders."

James, a businessman from Farmington Hills, just held a virtual fundraiser on Monday with Donald Trump Jr,, President Donald Trump's son.

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