The Republican primary for governor kicked into a new gear this week as some of the candidates finally looked at a calendar and realized the “window is rapidly closing” to qualify for the ballot and there’s less than 5 months to go before votes are cast. Here’s how the seats in the clown car shuffled around this week.

James Craig “Caught Lying,” Again

James Craig faced serious scrutiny this week from, well, everyone. Tudor Dixon observed his general lack of momentum, saying, “he’s been on Fox for years now. And he’s still not moving up in that [name ID] placement.” Garrett Soldano stayed on theme, saying Craig “continues to run in the basement” and “doesn’t answer those questions…I don’t care how many times he’s on Fox News.”

Even former members of Craig’s orbit are getting in on it, especially his old campaign adviser John Yob, who “has taken to slamming Mr. Craig as an inept candidate” after said candidate took another week to lie and shift blame about his own fundraising letter that ripped MSP troopers as “weak-kneed…underlings.” “It is sad to see how far he has fallen so quickly in blaming [staff] for his own memory problems,” Yob said to Detroit Free Press not long before claiming Craig “personally approved” the letter. Breakups aren’t easy, especially when your ex who said you got “caught lying probably because of memory problems and is now trying to figure out who to blame,” now works for one of your rivals. In related news…

Perry Johnson Immediately Threw Quality Out the Window, but Forced Craig’s Hand in the Process

Perry Johnson’s stance on the legitimacy of our electoral process went from 0 to 60 faster than the cars he’s oddly demanding auto industry workers thank him for the opportunity to have built. This week, he dove into the deep end of the Attorney General race and election conspiracy theory lane alike, backing Matthew DePerno – the top man that has stoked irreparable trust in our elections to the tune of nearly $400,000 contributed to his grift fund to connect dots that don’t exist in order to decertify the 2020 general election. 

But Johnson didn’t stop there, listing Craig by name as he urged the entire gubernatorial field to close ranks around DePerno. So far, Ryan Kelley and Ralph ReBandt have answered the call. 

This put Craig in a sticky situation as former House Speaker Tom Leonard – who too is vying for the Republican AG nomination – is a member of Craig’s Law Enforcement Action Team and has already appeared with him at a campaign event. In true Detroit Dodger fashion, Craig quickly downplayed his allyship with Leonard, declining to even mention him by name: “I mean, I have a relationship with one of them but I’ve got to just hold that for now. I’m focusing on this campaign here.” Damn, these Rs ain’t loyal.

Craig and Rinke Step in It on the Economy

Despite several months on the trail between them, both James Craig and Kevin Rinke keep finding new creative ways to communicate to working families that they are Absolutely Not In It For Them, this time as they addressed the Michigan Economic Developers Association. 

First, Rinke openly griped about leveling the playing field for Michiganders, saying “he believes in equal opportunity but not equal outcomes.” Then, he “denounced” the bipartisan economic development fund that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle credit for “help[ing] convince General Motors to invest $7 billion to expand its electric vehicle and battery production in Michigan.”

Craig also expressed his “more aggressive” desire to “get rid” of revenue that provides billions of dollars worth of funding for critical infrastructure projects, law enforcement, and schools.. When pressed on if that was a new campaign pledge though, Craig reverted to Detroit Dodger-ing: “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that’s exactly what I’m going to do because I don’t know the unintended consequences of that.”

Of Course Garrett Soldano is Nostalgic for Antebellum. *Of Course*

“We’ve been off course since the Civil War,” said Garrett Soldano at a Monday campaign event before launching into a tirade about “some regulations” that weren’t around then. …Like the ones that outlawed slavery? We know Black History Month is over but you didn’t have to course correct this hard, Garrett. Sweet Jesus.

Austin Chenge is Out

Chenge, we hardly knew ye. Yesterday, he dropped out. Determined to exit with a bang, the outgoing candidate that never gained traction and raised less than $5,000 total claimed that he was withdrawing in the spirit of party unity even though he had garnered 4,000+ more signatures than necessary to make the August ballot. Noble, if true, and it most likely is not.

The post Weekly Roundup: Craig “Caught Lying,” Johnson Makes Political Moves, and Soldano Has the Antebellum Blues appeared first on Michigan Democratic Party.