“The state Republican party is having trouble finding a first tier candidate to take on incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer.” – Tim Skubick
As the second week of May comes to an uneventful end for the virtually non-existent GOP gubernatorial primary, Republicans in Michigan and nationally continue to squander the “sweet spot for jumping on in right now.”
Here’s this week’s developments in the still “slow to mature” race to challenge Governor Whitmer:
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton joined Candice Miller and Ronna McDaniel as the 3rd would-be top-tier GOP candidate to definitively pass on a gubernatorial run this cycle, reportedly saying “it’s not anything I’m looking at and I have quickly said no,” according to MIRS. Our guess is a MIGOP co-chair opening calling for his assassination back in March helped guide the congressman to the Absolutely Not column.
Speaking of, MIGOP co-chair Ron Weiser, who Tim Skubick has reported is feverishly trying to find a top rate candidate, was hoping that that dry spell would finally end this past Monday as Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced his retirement and used the press opportunity to also identify himself as a Republican for the first time. Instead, Craig made more news for what he didn’t disclose.
After Monday’s press conference and a blitz of media appearances, Michigan Republicans were left with more questions than answers as Craig repeatedly refused to give an answer on whether or not he thinks the election was stolen from Trump and if he considers himself a supporter of the former President. With the Big Lie already clearly the defining issue for Republicans both locally and nationally, Craig is already out of time to come clean on his allegiance to this extremist crusade.
Then on Thursday, MIRS came out with a poll reporting that 67% of respondents couldn’t pick James Craig out of a lineup, a point echoed by Republican consultant John Sellek, who said yesterday, “Any Republican that starts off their talking points by saying James Craig changes the nature of the voting universe…there’s no evidence of that.”
Despite being a largely unknown entity, Craig still managed to edge out nickel thief and two-time statewide loser John James, who polled behind the impending retiree and 10 points behind Governor Whitmer in a general election match-up.
“Halfway through May, it’s hard to envision a worse scenario for MIGOP. Not only has yet another potential top-tier candidate passed on a run, the current gubernatorial field is currently nothing but fringe candidates eager to drag this race rightward, and their darling alternative James Craig refuses to confirm just how much of an extremist he is and how much he buys into the Big Lie,” said Rodericka Applewhaite, MDP spokesperson. “While the fringe candidates turn this primary into one giant purity test and Craig scrambles to keep up, Governor Whitmer has stayed focused on keeping all Michiganders safe as we count down the days until COVID-19 is finally behind us, send our kids back to school, and participate in a revitalized economy thanks to her leadership.”
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