John James donates $100,000 from losing Senate campaign to help Detroit restaurant workers

Dec 7, 2020 at 3:22 pm
click to enlarge John James donates $100,000 from losing Senate campaign to help Detroit restaurant workers
Courtesy of the John James campaign

Despite losing his bid to represent Michigan in the U.S. Senate as a Republican, John James is keeping a campaign promise.

On Monday, the John James for Senate campaign announced it's giving $100,000 to help restaurant workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, James vowed to give a nickel of every dollar he raised for his campaign to charitable organizations.

"Politicians in the 2020 cycle are going to be raising billions of dollars to convince people they care about their communities and not a nickel of it will go to help Michiganders," James said at the time in a statement. "But I thought, ‘Why wait? Why not start doing good on Day One.'"

Michigan's Senate race was the most expensive in the state's history, exceeding $150 million spent between the campaigns of James and incumbent Democrat Gary Peters.

“In this unbelievably tough holiday season for so many, I feel so blessed to be in a position to give. However, this gift is only possible through the generosity of many others, that allows us to reach out and support our neighbors,” said James. “This gift will be spread all over the state because everyone, regardless of ideological or geographic position, who needs help should receive it in these tough times. If you’re able to order out, please consider tipping generously on your carry out order.”

The gift was presented to Xavier Jaramillo, chair of the Detroit Restaurant and Lodging Association, and Scott Lowell, co-founder and former chair of the DRLA and owner of the Traffic Jam & Snug in Detroit.

“This crisis has been hard on us all and especially those in the restaurant industry,” said Lowell. “At this time of year, the most important thing is to support restaurant employees who have been hit especially hard, so they can support themselves and their families through the holidays. The Restaurant Workers Fund helps do just that and we are grateful to have support for this fund through the Nickel Promise.”

On Monday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a 12-day extension on a three-week ban on indoor dining due to high COVID-19 cases. The state's bar and restaurant association attempted to sue to overturn the initial ban, arguing that it has been hit especially hard by the economic toll of the pandemic and that it can remain open safely. A judge rejected the case last week.

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