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Former Cincinnati police chief forms ‘exploratory committee’ to run for Michigan governor

Cincinnati’s first African-American chief who went on to run the Detroit Police Department...
Cincinnati’s first African-American chief who went on to run the Detroit Police Department before retiring announced Wednesday morning he has formed an exploratory committee as the first step to run for Michigan governor.(Detroit Police Department Facebook page)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 7:09 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2021 at 9:14 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati’s first African-American chief who went on to run the Detroit Police Department before recently retiring announced Wednesday he’s formed an exploratory committee as the first step to run for Michigan governor.

James Craig told FOX19 NOW in an interview back in May he was seriously considering challenging Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022 and was being encouraged by state and national Republican officials.

Craig, 74, told us he’s also received calls from around the country offering encouragement and support from Republicans and Democrats alike, including in Cincinnati.

Craig was wildly popular when he ran the Cincinnati Police Department for just under two years, from 2011 to 2013. He left to helm the police department in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

He announced his retirement from the Detroit Police Department on May 10.

“I’ve launched a campaign through an exploratory committee and my good friends in Cincinnati can go to www.chiefjamescraig.com,” Craig told FOX19 NOW in a phone interview early Wednesday.

The governor’s race is a personal calling for him.

“It’s about uniting both sides, Democrats and Republicans,” Craig said.

“The country is polarized. This is about a lack of leadership. I’ve watched what’s happened over the last year in cities across the nation and they were looking and rioting. Here in Detroit, we didn’t burn and that’s leadership. Leading from the front.

“As I am launching the committee, I am going out and talking to Michiganders about what they want from their state leaders. I’ve heard from some of them. They say these handouts have had an impact on their abilities to get employees to come to work. They are struggling. They are really struggling to get employees to come to work.”

Voters in Cincinnati can’t cast ballots in Michigan’s governor race, but that’s not going to deter Craig from taking a little southern detour to see some old friends and enjoy a juicy steak.

“I’ve got come to come and visit Cincinnati when I’m out there on the campaign trail. I have too many friends there. I need to come to Cincinnati. I need to go to Ruby’s. I love Jeff Ruby’s. I appreciate all the love and support I got from everyone while I was there.”

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