Michigan GOP gov hopeful James Craig loses second campaign manager in 4 months

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — James Craig, who was viewed as the front runner in the Republican primary race for Michigan governor, has lost his second campaign manager in less than four months.

Adam Wright, who had been the campaign manager for the former Detroit police chief, said Monday he "recently" submitted his resignation. Wright said he couldn't comment further because of a non-disclosure agreement.

He took over the job after Craig's former campaign manager, Anthony Sarros, departed in December, according to Sarros's LinkedIn page. Wright's resignation comes about a month before the April 19 filing deadline for candidates for governor to submit 15,000 petition signatures to get their names on the ballot for governor.

Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig raises three fingers and says he's worked in law enforcement in three cities over 44 years as he stands in front of the Detroit skyline and announces his Republican candidacy for Michigan governor, Tuesday afternoon, September 14 ,2021.

In a Monday statement, Craig confirmed Wright's resignation and said he wished him "nothing but the best."

"I will continue to campaign across Michigan, including in my hometown of Detroit and other urban areas of our state," Craig said. "Frankly, we were not in agreement on this strategy so we mutually agreed on going in a different direction."

Ted Goodman and Blake Govan will now serve as Craig's co-campaign managers. Goodman has been involved with Craig's bid since it formally launched in September. He left his past position as communications director for the Michigan Republican Party to work for Craig's campaign.

So far, Craig's effort has been plagued by staff shake-ups.

Well-known Michigan political consultant John Yob worked with Craig, a first time candidate, early on before cutting ties in November.

At the time, Yob, who had been described as Craig's chief adviser, said he didn't agree with the direction the candidate "wanted to go in the future, and therefore, it made sense to step aside and allow him the space to build a team that is willing to strategize and implement his vision for the campaign."

Yob is now working with Republican businessman Perry Johnson's competing campaign for governor.

"The nice thing about appointing co-campaign managers is that when the third one quits, there might still be a fourth one," Yob tweeted Monday in response to the news of Craig's campaign manager resigning.

Craig and Johnson are two of 11 Republicans in a crowded field seeking the GOP nomination. The winner of the August primary vote will challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the fall.

The November race is expected to be close after Democrat Joe Biden carried Michigan by 3 percentage points over Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

So far, only two of the Republican candidates for governor, Garrett Soldano of Mattawan and Michael Markey of Grand Haven, say they have turned in their required petition signatures to make the ballot.

Ahead of the 2018 election, Whitmer's successful campaign also went through a series of campaign managers.