Former Detroit police chief launching gubernatorial campaign vs. Whitmer next week

Former Detroit police chief launching gubernatorial campaign vs. Whitmer next week
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Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig will launch his campaign for governor next week, becoming the latest entrant in a crowded field of Republicans vying to oust Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan orders 'all-hands-on-deck' response to water crisis Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Michigan leaves majority-Black city with lead-contaminated taps for three years Whitmer vetoes bill on bird feeding over deer fears MORE (D-Mich.).

Craig added three events on his Facebook page on Wednesday that are labeled as “Chief James Craig for Governor Campaign Kickoff.”

The events, scheduled for Sept. 14, will take place in Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids.

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The scheduled announcements come after the former police chief revealed in July that he was setting up an exploratory committee for a potential gubernatorial bid.

He released a campaign-style video, titled “Leading from the Front,” which largely focused on his career in law enforcement, and suggested that he would protect the state against rising crime and stand against civil unrest.

Craig in July, during an appearance on Fox News, said “I’m running,” but those comments were later walked back to clarify that his campaign was “in the exploratory phase of running for governor,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

Prior to serving as police chief in Detroit, Craig led police departments in Cincinnati and Portland, Maine. He also worked at the Los Angeles Police Department for almost three decades.

The Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) reacted to Craig’s forthcoming announcement on Thursday, telling The Hill in a statement that the former police chief is forcing an “‘official’ announcement’ because his campaign needs a “reboot.”

“Let’s get one thing clear: James Craig has been a declared candidate in this race since July. The only reason the political insiders’ handpicked candidate is trying to force this ‘official’ announcement is because he knows his campaign is in desperate need of a reboot,” MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite said.

“No amount of rebranding is going to make Michiganders forget how disastrous the past two months have been for Craig as he continues to avoid answering basic questions like whether he thinks our elections are legitimate or who he thinks incited the insurrection,” she added.

Craig will be entering an already crowded field of Republicans jockeying to take on Whitmer next year.

Michigan State Police Captain Mike Brown, conservative cable television commentator Tudor Dixon, chiropractor Garrett Soldano, pastor Ralph Reband, real estate agent Ryan Kelley, substitute teacher Bob Scott, document specialist Articia Homer, businessman Evan Space and entrepreneur and U.S. Army veteran Austin Chenge have all announced campaigns thus far, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Whoever wins the GOP nomination, however, will have a tough battle against Whitmer. The governor has strong name recognition, and her campaign announced in July that it had raised $8.5 million so far this year for her reelection bid.

This story was updated at 5:36 p.m.