"What many politicians have forgotten is that they're public servants, not political servants. And that's what's gone so wrong today. People want [politicians] to understand one thing: you serve us, the people. And as a law enforcement officer for over four decades, I understand it. That's my wiring."
This quote from former Detroit Police Chief James Craig describes both the theme of his campaign and his vision for the future of Michigan politics. The 66-year-old police veteran is no stranger to the concept of service. In his 44 years on the force, he has contributed an enormous amount of effort to ensure the safety of citizens across this country. To hear him emphasize service in such a way is no surprise. What did come as a surprise to many Michiganders is his seemingly sudden leap into the political world.
Up until recent years, Craig had avoided making any political comments that didn't relate to crime and policing. As Chief of Police in Portland, Cincinnati and Detroit, he focused solely on fighting crime in his jurisdiction, not on the political landscape. However, conversations with friends, family, and associates about the changing state of our country slowly opened his mind to the idea of throwing in his bid for governor. Then without warning, his thoughts about running for office leaked to the media and created a demand for answers that he couldn't ignore. So, in the spring of 2021, he retired from his position as chief, and in June of the same year, he made it publicly known that he intended to run against Gretchen Whitmer for the governor's seat.
Since then, James Craig has made appearances on TV, radio and in-person across Michigan. Tirelessly making his case for why he should replace "Big Gretch" as the leader of the state. One of his stops was here at The Quintessential Gentlemen, where he discussed many aspects of his ideals, plans for the future, and the past including the transition he made from Democrat to Republican more than a decade ago.