- Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig announces bid for U.S. Senate in Michigan
- Craig joins a GOP field that includes former Congressman Mike Rogers, State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder, Michael Hoover, Sherry O’Donnell, Alexandira Taylor and J.D. Wilson
- Democratic field features U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, actor Hill Harper, Nasser Beydoun, Zack Burns, Leslie Love, Pamela Pugh
LANSING — Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig is running for the U.S. Senate, he announced Tuesday, giving Michigan Republicans another high-profile candidate in the race to replace retiring Democrat Debbie Stabenow.
Craig announced his campaign on social media with a video montage showing his previous appearances on conservative talk shows, including a clip of former Fox News host Tucker Carlson praising him for “clarity and competence” in Detroit.
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As a police chief, “I swore an oath to protect and serve the people of America,” Craig said in a statement.
“That promise didn’t come with an expiration date,”
“I’m officially running for U.S. Senate because the people of Michigan and America need a leader who will fight for them in Washington.”
After leading the city through racial justice protests with a style praised by Republicans and many city residents but criticized by some local activists, Craig retired from the Detroit Police Department in 2021 to run for Michigan governor. Detroit was notable among many large cities in largely avoiding civil unrest during the protests.
He entered the last year’s GOP gubernatorial primary race as a front-runner but failed to make the ballot after the state determined he was among five candidates who had submitted fraudulent signatures on nominating petitions.
Craig later praised Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, for arresting and charging three individuals accused of overseeing the fraudulent signature operation.
The former police chief joins a crowded field seeking to replace Stabenow, a longtime force in Michigan politics who in January announced she will retire rather than seek re-election.
To date, six Democrats and six Republicans have filed paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate seat. A seventh Republican — former U.S. Peter Meijer — has formed an exploratory committee as he considers a run.
Candidates can still join — or leave — the race by the spring filing deadline. But here’s who’s in so far:
Nasser Beydoun: The Dearborn businessman is a restaurant owner and former chair of the American Arab Chamber of Congress. Beydoun describes himself as a political moderate and civil rights advocate. He is the son of a Lebanese immigrant who found his footing in Michigan as a UAW member, according to Beydoun’s campaign.
Zack Burns: An attorney from Ann Arbor, Burns entered the race in April with a promise to focus on affordable housing, health care, education and training. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford and The University of California, Irvine, according to his campaign.
Hill Harper An actor known for his roles on “The Good Doctor” and “CSI: NY,” Harper is also an attorney, single father, author and coffee shop owner. The son of two doctors, Harper was born in Iowa and moved to Detroit in 2016. He is a graduate of Harvard University. A cancer survivor, Harper in 2012 was appointed to a cancer panel by then-President Barack Obama.
Leslie Love: A former state lawmaker from Detroit, Love served in the Michigan House from 2015 to 2020, where she helped end so-called “driver responsibility fees” that critics had called a double penalty. After Love was forced from the Legislature by term limits, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2021 appointed her to the Natural Resources Commission in 2021, making her the first African American woman to serve on the panel.
Pamela Pugh: A former chief public health officer for Saginaw, Pugh currently serves as president of the Michigan State Board of Education after winning re-election in 2022. With degrees from the University of Michigan and Florida A&M, Pugh describes herself as a scientist, community leader and education advocate.
Elissa Slotkin: The sitting U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 7th District, Slotkin has served in Congress since 2019 and currently lives in Lansing. She previously worked as a Department of Defense official and analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. Born in New York but raised in Oakland County, Slotkin has degrees from Cornell and Columbia universities.
Michael Hoover A businessman who previously worked at Dow Chemical, Hoover lives in Laingsburg in Shiawassee County and is a first-time candidate for political office. His focus is on strong families, fiscal responsibility, educational freedom, middle-class prosperity and government accountability, according to his campaign.
Peter Meijer (exploratory):The former Michigan Congressman who served in the U.S. House for one term through 2022, has formed an exploratory committee for a possible Senate run. Meijer voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for instigating the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and he subsequently lost the 2022 GOP primary to Trump-endorsed John Gibbs.
Sherry O’Donnell: A physician, pastor and author from Stevensville, in Berrien County, O’Donnell champions “medical freedom” and opposes a “government takeover of healthcare,” among other things, according to her website. She has never held elected office but ran for Congress last year, losing to incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg in a 5th District GOP primary.
Mike Rogers: The Livingston County Republican represented Michigan’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House through 2014. In announcing his campaign, Rogers said he thought he had “put politics behind me” but was inspired to run for U.S. Senate because “something is broken.” He recently moved back to Michigan from Florida, is a former FBI special agent and chaired the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Nikki Snyder, A registered nurse from Dexter, Snyder has served on the Michigan State Board of Education since 2016, when she was the second-highest vote getter in the general election. Snyder describes herself as a “freedom-loving patriot” and wants a Parent’s Bill of Rights to ensure they have a strong role in their children’s education.
Alexandria Taylor A former Democrat from Romulus, Taylor is an attorney who last year worked on a failed Republican lawsuit that sought to invalidate all mail-in ballots from Detroit. She holds degrees from Michigan State, Eastern Michigan and Detroit Mercy universities, according to her campaign, which says she is focused on “family, faith and freedom.”
J.D. Wilson: A political newcomer, Wilson is a businessman from the Houghton Lake area in Roscommon County who describes himself as a “constitutional conservative.” On his campaign website, Wilson says that in the U.S. Senate he would work to cut taxes, put the federal government on “a diet” and fight inflation, which he calls a “war on middle class families.”