Craig plans GOP gubernatorial campaign launch in Detroit on Tuesday

The Detroit News

Former Detroit police Chief James Craig is planning to kick off his campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination Tuesday in Detroit, followed by other events in the state.

Craig, who started an exploratory committee in July, will launch his bid for Michigan governor at 10 a.m. at Sunset Point on Belle Isle, according to posts on Facebook on Wednesday.

Other events include 12:15 p.m. in Flint and 4:30 p.m. in Grand Rapids the same day.

James Craig, former Detroit police chief, speaks on Monday, July 19, 2021, at Kent County Republican Party headquarters in Grand Rapids.

Craig is one of 10 Michigan Republicans who have formed fundraising committees to run for governor next year or are in the process of doing so. The winner of the August 2022 primary is expected to take on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is anticipated to run for reelection.

Craig has said he would accept former President Donald Trump's endorsement if offered but he wants to be defined as himself, not the former president.

He was Detroit's police chief, working in the state's largest city under Mayor Mike Duggan, until June 1 when he retired. He recently has said he "absolutely didn't like" the hundreds of tickets handed out by his department to enforce Whitmer's COVID-19 restrictions. He said he eventually made a "unilateral decision" to stop handing out citations under the governor's emergency pandemic orders.

But before that happened, Craig's agency publicized its enforcement.

His handling of Whitmer's policies during the pandemic is expected to become a point of debate during his run for governor.

Republican Kevin Rinke, a Metro Detroit businessman, revealed his plan to form the exploratory committee this week. His family has owned and operated auto dealerships in the state.