Two-time Senate candidate John James to run for House

‘Quality guru’ Perry Johnson joins growing Republican gubernatorial field 

By: - January 31, 2022 10:51 am

Perry Johnson (left) and John James (right) | Johnson campaign and Getty Images photos

Former U.S. Senate candidate John James announced Monday that he would run for the U.S. House in Michigan’s new 10th Congressional District in Southeast Michigan. 

“I fought on the battlefield for American lives and in business for good-paying jobs that fuel livelihoods,” James said in a tweet announcing his candidacy. “I will continue to fight for the hardworking families in Michigan’s 10th district as today I announce my run for Congress.”

The seat James is running for is open after Democratic Reps. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester) and Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) both decided to run for the newly drawn 11th Congressional District instead. James joins Eric Esshaki, who unsuccessfully challenged Stevens in 2020, in the Republican primary.

John James at President Donald Trump’s Battle Creek rally, Dec. 18, 2019 | Andrew Roth

James, a Farmington Hills businessman, previously lost two consecutive U.S. Senate elections in Michigan, against both incumbents, Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.). James is still considered a top recruit in Republicans’ efforts to retake control of the U.S. House. The Cook Political Report rates the district as “Lean Republican,” meaning it is “considered competitive … but one party has an advantage.”

In the gubernatorial race, Perry Johnson, a businessman who describes himself as a “quality guru,” announced last week that he plans to run seek the Republican nomination in 2022 to likely take on Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Johnson said he has filed paperwork with the secretary of state to begin fundraising and expected to formally announce his campaign “in the next couple of weeks.”

Johnson, the founder of a quality management certification business, announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for governor one day after Whitmer’s fourth State of the State address.

“Governor Whitmer’s State of the State completely ignored the horrendous quality that taxpayers receive for their money from state government,” Johnson said. “A commitment to quality with proper statistical methods and transparency might well have prevented the $8.6 billion Unemployment fraud, nursing home death scandal, Benton Harbor water crisis, kept schools open, and helped small businesses survive the pandemic.”

House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) offered praise of Johnson, while stopping short of an endorsement.

State House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) | Ken Coleman photo

“I am neutral in the primary but if you searched the country for the best expert to hire to make dramatic improvement in quality in state government, the perfect person you would come up with is Perry Johnson,” Wentworth said.

Johnson joins a field of 12 other candidates, including former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, right-wing commentator Tudor Dixon, businessman Kevin Rinke and chiropractor Garret Soldano.

Voters will choose the Republican nominee on Aug. 2 before the general election on Nov. 8.

Longtime GOP consultant John Yob has been hired by Johnson’s campaign after leaving Craig’s campaign in November, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Johnson has previously donated to several Republican candidates, as well as the Michigan Republican Party. He is willing to spend at least $10 million on the race, matching a commitment from Rinke to do the same for his own campaign, the Detroit News reported.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth is a regular contributor to the Michigan Advance and a former reporting intern. He has been covering Michigan policy and politics for three years across a number of publications and is a graduate of Michigan State University.