Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race
Michigan Republican John James conceded the Wolverine State’s Senate race to Sen. Gary Peters (D) after state officials certified the results of the presidential and Senate contests.
James, who had refused for weeks to concede after the race was called for Peters on Nov. 4, recognized that the GOP-led state Board of Canvassers certified the results of the election and offered his congratulations to his opponent.
“The results of the election were certified yesterday. I am happy that the Board of Canvassers led by Norm Shinkle asked the legislature to take a top-down review of election law. But it’s too late for me. While I look forward to participating in efforts to secure both reasonable franchise and integrity in our election in the near future, today is the right time for me to congratulate Sen. Gary Peters,” he said in a video statement.
James’s concession marks the second defeat he’s suffered in a Senate race after his failed 2018 challenge to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D).
The Michigan Republican, a former Army combat veteran and businessman, had been one of the GOP’s most highly touted recruits, and at one point President Trump considered tapping him to be the ambassador to the United Nations.
The Wolverine State’s Senate race was a top offense opportunity for the GOP, with outside groups spending millions to knock off the first-term incumbent. However, James was faced with a barrage of Democratic spending as the party looked to not only protect Peters but also made Michigan a top priority in the presidential race.
James had refused to concede to Peters amid spurious claims from the GOP of voter fraud and irregularities and as Republican lawsuits played out in courts. But those efforts suffered a fatal blow after the election results were certified.
James indicated that he would continue advocating for political causes after his defeat by under 2 points.
“Michigan, the 2020 battle for this Senate seat is over, but the battle for the future of this great country will never be over, and I will never retire from that battlefield, ever, and neither should you. ‘Surrender’ is not a Ranger word, and I know that giving up is not in your DNA,” he said. “There are too many people hurting. There is too much work to do. There is too much left to give.”
Republicans appeared eager to see what James would do next, indicating his loss may not mark the end of GOP support for him.
“John James’ life of service sacrifice and selflessness has inspired millions of Michiganders. His record as a military veteran and business leader makes him the type of person Michigan needs fighting for us. I want to congratulate my friend John on an extraordinarily hard-fought campaign,” said Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox. “John has cemented himself as an all-star in the Republican Party, and I know I speak for all Republicans when I say we cannot wait to see what’s next for John James.”