James Craig says 'important announcement' coming next week
Lansing — Former Detroit police Chief James Craig, who is widely expected to soon launch a campaign for governor, suggested on Fox News on Wednesday night that he will make an "important announcement" next week.
Craig, a Republican who ended his 44-year career in law enforcement on June 1, made the comment during an appearance on "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
“I hope we can do this again next week," the former chief told Carlson. "Because guess what? I have an important announcement for Michigan’s future.”
Craig continued, “I promised you I am going to do it on your show.”
To which, Carlson, an influential figure in national GOP politics, responded, “If you’re going to announce for governor, we’ll be very excited.”
Michigan "badly needs new leadership," Carlson added.
For weeks, Craig has been privately participating in discussions with key Republicans as he contemplates a campaign for the party's nomination for governor in 2022. It's likely to be a contested primary race with the winner challenging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is expected to seek a second term.
Craig's experience leading the Police Department in Michigan's largest city and his reputation as a fighter have many within the GOP excited about his expected entry into the race. However, there are also unknowns about the former chief, including where he stands on key political issues and how he'll handle questions about former President Donald Trump, who has become a political lightning rod.
The former chief gave his first political speech on July 6 in Jackson, where he called for unity within the party and emphasized his support for the police, the military, gun rights, anti-abortion policies, education choice and self-reliance.
"Make no mistake, at the ballot box in the year of 2022, we will be celebrating our independence from the rule of Gov. Whitmer," Craig said at one point.
So far, six Republicans have formed campaign fundraising committees to run for governor, including anti-lockdown activist and chiropractor Garrett Soldano of Mattawan and conservative commentator Tudor Dixon of Norton Shores.
Metro Detroit businessman Kevin Rinke of Bloomfield Township has said he's "seriously considering" running for governor. And former U.S. Senate candidate John James of Farmington Hills is another potential candidate whom Michigan Republicans are watching, but he has said little about his personal feelings about possibly running.
Staff Writer Beth LeBlanc contributed.