(WJBK) - John James greets supporters Monday at Senor Lopez a Mexican restaurant in Southwest Detroit.
Last week the combat veteran and businessman from Farmington Hills won the republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat, which is currently held by longtime senator and democrat Debbie Stabenow.
“I fully believe in John James he’s a wonderful candidate, I think if anyone is to beat Stabenow John James is the perfect person to,” supporter Cassidy said.
Accompanying James Monday morning was Florida U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate Marco Rubio who James calls his role model.
“I will tell you the best strategy in politics is to be yourself. This is a time where people seek authenticity and for John to be himself is a good story to tell, this is someone who understands the life level, not the academic level or the theoretical level but the life level,” Rubio said.
“I was just more impressed than anything that Marco Rubio took the time out of his schedule and actually said you know what, I’m going to Michigan, Michigan is in play we’re going to help John James,” voter Kerry Jackson said.
A conservative republican, James says veteran affairs is one of his most important issues.
“I'm a combat veteran and I believe the way our veterans have been treated and ignored is terrible,” James said.
James says he wants to be a new voice in the conservative movement, committed to his family faith and community.
“I would say don't pre-judge me. Too many people have died for us to think for ourselves, to vote for ourselves to be independent for me to be judged by the content of my character not by the color of my skin or my political affiliation. I’m republican because I’m conservative not the other way around I’m conservative because I believe in faith, and family and god and country service before self and that is how I was raised,” James said.
“Forget the fact that he's republican, get to know him, when you got to the ballot don't worry about the R behind his name look at him,” voter Eric Brown said.
“I would just suggest to voters, no matter who you voted for in the past, who’s the candidate in this race that has ideas for the 21st century that are going to achieve that in your lives,” Rubio said.