GRAND RAPIDS — Using a similar speech to one given in Detroit earlier in the day, former Detroit police chief James Craig continued a series of campaign announcements for Michigan governor in front of a crowd of a few dozen supporters Tuesday evening in Grand Rapids.
Craig, 65, is one of several Republicans to announce campaigns to challenge current Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in next year's gubernatorial election. He told attendees at the Kent County GOP headquarters near downtown Grand Rapids his plan is to "lead from the front" if elected next fall.
"Michigan, in so many ways is the birthplace of American middle class and the embodiment of the American dream," Craig said. " ... Unfortunately, this promise, that American dream, seems so uncommon to so many people. That's a problem."
Craig blasted Whitmer's handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Michigan, blaming her administration for struggling small businesses. He also criticized "radical" Democrats and targeted commonly attacked ideas like critical race theory and mask mandates for children in schools.
Grand Rapids was the second stop Tuesday for Craig, after his initial announcement planned in Detroit was derailed by local protesters. He eventually delivered remarks in a separate location in the city. The Craig campaign canceled a scheduled event in Flint Tuesday afternoon.
While Tuesday was the official launch of Craig's campaign, he had said for months he planned on contesting Whitmer next year. Craig has made multiple appearances on FOX News program "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
Following Tuesday's protests on Belle Isle, his campaign tweeted he would appear on the program the same evening, also using images of protesters surrounding Craig as an appeal for donations.
After he concluded prepared remarks in Grand Rapids, which lasted a bit longer than ten minutes, Craig said he planned to address what he described as worsening job retention amongst police officers and spikes in drug and alcohol use.
Craig also endorsed a "forensic audit" of 2020 presidential election results in Michigan — similar to what has taken place in Arizona. Calls for such an audit have largely been criticized by elections officials and experts, who've described the process as challenging the integrity of the state's election.
Officials in Michigan, both Republican and Democratic, have pointed to no sign of widespread voter fraud in last year's election.
Several Republicans have announced candidacies for the August 2022 gubernatorial primary. In addition to Craig, conservative radio host Tudor Dixon, real-estate agent and right wing rally organizer Ryan Kelley and self-described entrepreneur Austin Chenge have also filed to run, among others.
Whitmer has not formally launched a re-election bid, but previously has alluded to a future announcement. The first-term governor is also unlikely to face any primary challenger before next November's election.
Source : https://www.hollandsentinel.com/story/news/politics/government/2021/09/14/former-detroit-police-chief-craig-pitches-grand-rapids-gop-governor-run/8340333002/795