James Craig in Detroit during gubernatorial campaign announcement on Sept. 14, 2021 | Ken Coleman
Despite a Michigan Supreme Court decision that kept Republican James Craig off of the August primary ballot, the former Detroit police chief says he is “evaluating next steps” in a bid to stay in the gubernatorial race.
Craig appeared on Fox News Sunday and told host Maria Bartiromo that someone was “absolutely” trying to steal the election and he’s “not going to let this go.”
“We had so much momentum going in this campaign, consistently double digits ahead of all the other GOP candidates,” said Craig. “And also at times tied with the incumbent governor and with independents. Two polls showed I was ahead with independents. So let’s face it, I was a clear threat.”
Craig was among five Republican candidates for governor who were tossed off of the ballot after the Bureau of Elections (BOE) released a report last month detailing an “unprecedented” number of fraudulent signatures.
The other candidates are: financial adviser Michael Markey, businessman Perry Johnson, businesswoman Donna Brandenburg and Michigan State Police Capt. Mike Brown. Brown has dropped out of the race.
That recommendation was then upheld when the Board of State Canvassers (BSC) deadlocked along party lines. The Michigan Supreme Court then ruled Friday 6-1 in favor of the BOE decision that three Johnson, Craig and Markey should be denied a spot. The court did not issue a ruling in Brandenburg’s suit.
Craig, who previously said he was considering a write-in campaign, said he believes the courts didn’t “follow the statutes,” and argued elections officials should have individually examined each signature and not disqualified entire pages that had been submitted by suspected fraudulent circulators.
BOE staff are working to refer incidents of apparent fraud to law enforcement for criminal investigation.
The rulings have left five GOP candidates on the ballot, which had to be finalized by last Friday: Businessman Kevin Rinke, right-wing media personality Tudor Dixon, chiropractor Garrett Soldano, far-right activist Ryan Kelley and the Rev. Ralph Rebandt.
The winner will face Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Nov. 8.
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