Detroit Evening Report: Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig drops bid for U.S. Senate seat

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FILE - James Craig, a former Detroit police chief, announces he is a Republican candidate for governor of Michigan, on Sept. 14, 2021,

Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig ended his Republican bid for an open U.S. Senate seat in Michigan just over four months after launching his campaign.

Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig is suspending his Republican bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Michigan — just four months after launching his campaign.

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Craig announced his candidacy in October, but has had trouble raising enough money to continue his efforts. He was seen as a front-runner for the Michigan gubernatorial race in 2022, but problems with petition signatures kept him off that ballot.   

Despite being considered as one of the more high-profile candidates to enter the Senate race, Craig had raised only $60,581 by the end of 2023 — well behind the other candidates.

“This is strictly a business decision,” Craig told the Associated Press by phone. “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.”

Craig also told AP that he is “strongly considering” running in Detroit’s mayoral election next year.

Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow announced early last year that she was not running for re-election, which opened up a seat in the key battleground state. Republicans seeking that party’s nomination include former Congressmen Peter Meijer and Mike Rogers, and businessman Sandy Pensler. 

Hill Harper, Nasser Beydoun and Elissa Slotkin are among the Democrats running for the office. Republicans have not won a U.S. Senate race in Michigan since 1994. 

The primary election takes place in early August. 

Associated Press writer Joey Cappelletti contributed to this report.

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  • Jerome Vaughn
    Jerome Vaughn is News Director at 101.9 WDET. His interest in news reporting began when he was five years old, after his mom bought him a yellow Panasonic ball and chain radio.