Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig registered as a Democrat when he moved to Ohio in 2012, after previously claiming that he converted to becoming a Republican three years earlier.
James has said he became a Republican in 2009 when he moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine. In May, the Detroit News reported:
Yes, I am a Republican. I’m conservative, and many of you already knew it,” he told reporters during a Monday news conference at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters, noting he’s taken that political position since transitioning from his role as a command officer in Los Angeles, a job he left in 2009 to become police chief in Portland, Maine.
“I’ve been a Republican I think as I was transitioning from Los Angeles,” he claimed.
During a high profile speech in July, while surrounded by Republican Party elites plotting his candidacy, Craig told the crowd his “transition in becoming a Republican became more of a reality” when he moved to Maine, according to ABC 7.
But that timeline is complicated by the fact that after Craig’s self-described Republican transition, he registered to vote as a Democrat when he moved from Maine to Cincinnati, Ohio roughly three years later:
Craig’s voter registration, obtained by The Michigan Star, showed on October 10, 2012, he declared his “choice of party” was “Democratic.” In the document, he swore under penalty of perjury that the information was “true.”
As late as September 2020, Craig denied being a Republican, the Metro Times noted:
But in September 2020, Craig said he was not a Republican. Craig made the comment after then-President Donald Trump praised him for his handling of protests.
“I’m an American,” Craig told The Detroit News at the time. “Why is everything left or right? I get support from all sides — except the anarchists who want to undermine our government. I’m an American police officer who claims no party but relies on doing what is right and common sense.”
He added, “I align with both conservatives and liberals, depending on the issues.”
Craig has also said that he voted for former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020. Records indicate he did indeed cast a ballot in those elections.
When asked about a potential endorsement from Trump, Craig said that he would “accept it,” but he does not want to be “defined” by Trump.
“If the president gives me his endorsement, I’ll accept it,” Craig said. “I want to be defined as James Craig, not Donald Trump. I’m looking ahead to 2022.”
Craig has formed a campaign committee to explore a run for governor against incumbent Gretchen Whitmer (D). He is expected to formally launch a campaign after Labor Day.
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