Monday, May 10, 2021

Duggan says he wouldn't support Chief Craig as a gubernatorial candidate

Posted By on Mon, May 10, 2021 at 3:44 PM

Detroit Police Chief James Craig in the city's real-time crime center. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Detroit Police Chief James Craig in the city's real-time crime center.

If Detroit Police Chief James Craig runs for governor, Mayor Mike Duggan said Monday he will not support him.

Duggan made the comment at a news conference in which Craig, a Republican, announced he’s retiring “voluntarily” after eight years at the department’s helm.

Craig, who often appears on Fox News to complain about Black Lives Matter protesters, has met recently with GOP leaders to discuss a potential run for governor.  

“I think Gretchen Whitmer has been the best partner the city has had in decades, and I will be supporting her,” Duggan said. “The chief and I disagree on a number of issues, and I suspect that is one of them.”

Craig declined to discuss his plans after he retires on June 1 but confirmed he is a Republican.

“Yes, I am a Republican,” Craig said. “I am conservative. I am deeply passionate about public service, especially in a leadership role.”

When asked if he believes the false claim about widespread election fraud — a frequent talking point of the GOP — Craig wouldn’t answer.

“I’m not going to talk about politics. There will be a proper time and place for that,” Craig said.

Republicans have been struggling to find a formidable candidate to take on Whitmer.

Duggan praised Craig’s service as chief, saying he improved officer morale, made the city safer and “brought professionalism to the department.”

“I tried to convince him to stay,” Duggan said.

Duggan has not yet named an interim chief. Under the city charter, the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners must hire a search firm to find Craig’s permanent replacement and then provide the mayor with a list of final candidates. Duggan then chooses the next chief.

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