Craig drops out of US Senate race, floats run for Detroit mayor

(Laina G. Stebbins/Michigan Advance)

By Michigan Advance

February 16, 2024

BY JON KING, MICHIGAN ADVANCE

MICHIGAN—Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig has dropped his bid for the GOP nomination to run this year for the US Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing).

Craig, who was forced out of the race for governor in 2022 after a fraudulent petition scandal, indicated that he may now instead seek to run for Detroit mayor next year.

The mayor’s office could be left open if Mayor Mike Duggan decides to forgo reelection and run for governor in 2026. Other potential candidates include City Council President Mary Sheffield, who formed a fundraising committee last year, and former businessman Joel Haashiim, who announced his intention to run last month.

Craig launched his Senate bid in October and cited lackluster fundraising as the reason for departing the race.

“This is strictly a business decision,” Craig told the Associated Press. “I’m not leaving because I felt like I didn’t have the support. But from a business end, you need funds to run a campaign.”

Finance reports filed last month indicated Craig had raised just a little over $60,000 by the end of 2023. By comparison, his leading rival, former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-White Lake), had raised just over a million dollars.

Rogers released a statement after Craig’s announcement calling the former chief “a true son of Detroit.”

“I hope that he will continue to be engaged and I will seek his counsel on how we can work together to bring a brighter and safer future for all Michiganders,” said Rogers.

That was despite Craig taking a swipe at Rogers in late January after the former Congressman posted on X a message about his time as a former FBI agent meaning he wouldn’t “back down from the far-left and their allies in the mainstream media.”

Craig responded by saying he didn’t “think the people of Michigan want a federal agent as their next Senator.”

Even with Craig’s withdrawal, the GOP field remains crowded with candidates including Rogers, former U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids), Detroit-area businessman Sandy Pensler, Board of Education member Nikki Snyder; Alexandria Taylor, an attorney who has previously represented Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo; Sherry O’Donnell, a former 2022 congressional candidate and Michigan state chair for U.S. Term Limits; conservative businessman J.D. Wilson; Sharon Savage, an educator who worked for the Warren Consolidated School District for 42 years; and Michael Hoover, who previously worked for Dow Chemical Co.

On the Democratic side, US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly), actor Hill Harper of Detroit and businessman Nasser Beydoun remain in the running for the seat. Ann Arbor lawyer Zack Burns dropped out last month.

5 THINGS TO KNOW: Michigan Democrat Elissa Slotkin runs for US Senate

This coverage was republished from Michigan Advance pursuant to a Creative Commons license. 

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