And back to six. The former front runner in the race to unseat Governor Gretchen Whitmer is back in the running.
Former Detroit police chief James Craig still will not be on the ballot. He was removed after fraudulent petition signatures left him shy of the necessary number.
Tuesday, he officially filed as a write-in candidate.
“Running a write-in campaign state wide is indeed a fool’s errand,” said Adrian Hemond of Grassroots Midwest.
Three weeks ago, Craig and four others were cut from the ballot. Now Craig is back in the race, as a write-in.
“We had a lot of momentum behind this campaign,” said Craig, “I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s going to be easy. It’s not. It’s an uphill battle.”
His name won’t be listed for voters to simply select, they will have to physically write in his name for his vote to count. It’s a very longshot but after the forgery scandal, one of few options he had.
“Why can’t you just run as an Independent? To go out and get 10,000 signatures or something? and that didn’t appeal to me,” said Craig, “I’m a Republican, so why would I run as an Independent?”
In the time since he was cut from the ballot, Craig lost donors. He lost endorsements. That’s lost money and as a ballot outsider, money is key.
“Perry Johnson made a statement that it would cost $22 million to run the kind of campaign he runs,” said Craig, “I wouldn’t need $22 million, that would require someone who’s running constant television ads and that’s not going to happen.”
For a year he had massive leads in polls due to his name recognition.
“The secret to his sauce was the fact that he was even better known, and had a better personal brand in the southeast Michigan and Detroit media market than any of us really realized,” said John Sellek of Harbor Strategic.
Craig’s going to need it more than ever as he flips from the front runner to the underdog, looking to do something never done in the state.
“I’m optimistic. I’m in it to win it still but I know it’s a different battle now,” said Craig.
Yet another wild development in the 2022 race for governor.