Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced he is planning a write-in campaign weeks after alleged forged signatures on his ballot petition disqualified him from appearing on the GOP gubernatorial primary ballot.
Craig announced his write-in plans during an interview on Fox 2 Detroit Thursday night. The news station sat down with Craig and businessman Perry Johnson, who was also disqualified from the Republican primary ballot after the Michigan Bureau of Elections said Johnson’s petition contained forged signatures.
“I am not giving up, they have robbed me, they have robbed Perry [Johnson] and guess what – write-in,” Craig told Fox 2 host Roop Raj. “There are so many people that have reached out through my campaign who have said, ‘Chief you are a fighter, don’t give up, continue to fight. We need you to do what you are doing.’ Guess what? I’m going to.”
When Raj asked Craig if he thought he had a chance to win with a write-in campaign, he responded, “Absolutely.”
Craig then went on to slam the decision to keep him off the ballot. “This is crap. You know it’s crap,” he said. “I have been approached by so many folks across the state who have called me and said: ‘Chief, continue to fight.’ I got emails, text messages through my campaign that says: ‘Chief, we know you were robbed.’ And you know what? I’m not going to roll over. Because this is not about me as a candidate. This is more about the voters of Michigan. They deserve to have the best candidate. And I’m going tell you: I’m going to win. I am the best candidate to unseat Governor Whitmer.”
Last week, following the findings from the Bureau of Elections, the Michigan Supreme Court upheld recommendations to keep Craig, Johnson, and another GOP candidate, Michael Markey, off the ballot.
Craig’s attorney George Lewis immediately fought back against the recommendation, claiming the Bureau of Elections violated state law by not checking every single signature they suspected of being fraudulent. Lewis also said he has affidavits from 15 voters, who signed on suspected fraudulent petition sheets, claiming they legitimately signed their name.
The Michigan Supreme Court’s decision threw the Michigan GOP primary race into chaos as Craig was the clear favorite to win the party’s primary and challenge Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer in November.
Businessman Perry Johnson, who has already spent millions of dollars on the race, said a state-wide write-in campaign would be “very, very difficult,” and estimated it could cost up to $22 million.
For now, the Detroit-area businessman has chosen a different route than Craig to keep his hopes of a GOP gubernatorial nomination alive. Johnson asked a federal judge Monday to “immediately cease the printing of August 2022 primary ballots.”