DETROIT (FOX 2) - FOX 2 has confirmed from reliable sources that Detroit Police Chief James Craig is set to make an announcement regarding his retirement Monday. He is also said to be considering a run for state-wide office, possibly governor, according to FOX 2 sources.
FOX 2 is hearing from reliable sources that if Craig does run for governor, it would be as a Republican. Some of that information was first reported by reporter Charlie LeDuff on the No BS News Hour podcast. Current Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer's seat is up in the November, 2022 General Election.
Ralph Godbee, the former chief of the Detroit police, said that Craig's public safety leadership experience would transition well politically as the state's top elected official.
"For a chief of police, just by the nature of what chiefs deal with," he said. "The fact that in a major city, you are on television quite frequently making announcements good bad or indifferent. (He would have ) the name recognition, the comfortability and also the credibility."
The state of Michigan has never had a Black governor, while current Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, a Democrat, is the first African-American to hold that office.
Oakland County GOP leader Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski said that Craig would be a formidable opponent for Whitmer.
"If he is the nominee - which I think he would be, (he'd be) a great nominee for the Republican party," Raczkowski said. "He would give Gretchen Whitmer a run for her money and he would be the next governor of the great state of Michigan."
If Craig decides to run for Governor, he would be the first prominent name in the state to announce his candidacy. Whitmer has not announced her re-election as of yet.
Friday evening the Politico reported that Craig met with state GOP Chair Ron Weiser and top party officials regarding a possible campaign effort.
Whitmer was recently named to receive one of seven Profile in Courage awards from the John F. Kennedy Foundation for her leadership of the state during the pandemic.
But she has also been dogged of late by a report she left the state for a Florida trip to see her father, said to be chronically ill on a private jet a month ago, with details slowly trickling out first reported by LeDuff. Her office has said the trip was not at the taxpayers' expense.
Whitmer has said she won't get bogged down with partisan attacks while firing back at state GOP leaders. She has added that details on her travel details were not disclosed due to safety concerns.
Craig has been Detroit's Police Chief since 2013 when he was originally appointed to the role by then Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr.
Since that time, Craig has overseen the installation of Project Green Light and has defended its use. Critics say the camera surveillance, which is monitored in real-time by Detroit Police, is used in conjunction with facial recognition software which unfairly targets Black men and women.
Craig has defended the use and said in a 2019 interview that the facial recognition software is only to be used for detectives to develop leads and it should not be used to arrest suspects.
In April, Craig got into a dispute with Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) after he called for her resignation following her tweet that there should be no more policing after a Black man was shot by an officer in Minnesota who said she meant to grab her Taser.
After Craig said he would love to see her resign and he would "throw her a goodbye party", Tlaib responded and told her supporters via email that she was not going anywhere.