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Hillsdale Mayor Adam Stockford endorsed former Detroit Police Department Chief James Craig, a Repub­lican, for Michigan gov­ernor in a press release on April 4.

“I’ve been fol­lowing James Craig’s career since Detroit brought him on to head their police department a decade ago,” Stockford said.

Craig’s history in law enforcement began when he started his career with the Detroit Police Department in 1977, until he was laid off four years later. From there he worked for the Los Angeles Police Department, and after many years of service, was pro­moted to chief of the Portland Police Department in 2009. After a brief stint in Oregon, he became chief of the Cincinnati Police Department, and most recently returned to his hometown of Detroit as its police chief. 

Craig retired last year from the police department, but Stockford said he believes this back­ground may be useful.

“The chief embodies public service. He’s proven time and again he can with­stand the pressure from the woke mob, some­thing none of us can judge unless we’ve seen, lived and worked in the urban areas Craig has,” Stockford said.

Craig will face numerous other Repub­licans in the upcoming guber­na­torial primary on Aug. 2. Key oppo­nents include Tudor Dixon, host of “America’s Voice Live;” Garrett Soldano, leader of the movement Unlock Michigan; and Kevin Rinke, a busi­nessman with a focus on healthcare.

In his endorsement, Stockford focused on what he thinks makes Craig stand out.

“He’s not a politician with a back­ground of capit­u­lating to special interests, or a mil­lionaire who is self-funding his cam­paign. He’s a blue collar man with a wealth of expe­rience,” he said.

Despite the lack of political expe­rience, Stockford argued it keeps Craig loyal to the Constitution.

“He under­stands the con­sti­tu­tional duties as well as restric­tions of the job of gov­ernor and he respects checks and bal­ances. With the chief, we won’t get a gov­ernor who thinks they’re an elected king, but a true public servant,” he said.

Craig faces a chal­lenging election ahead, both in the primary, and if suc­cessful, the general election in November. The Cook Political Report esti­mates the election will be a toss-up in November, while The Uni­versity of Virginia’s Center for Pol­itics Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball goes as far as saying the results lean Democratic.

While polling may not be in his favor, Trans­parency USA esti­mated Craig has the highest funding out of all 11 GOP primary can­di­dates, with a total of $2.03 million in contributions.

Stockford noted Craig’s strategic advantage in both the pri­maries and the November election.

“Prac­ti­cally speaking, as Craig is a hero to Detroiters, the chief is uniquely posi­tioned to poach the urban votes Whitmer needs for her second term. That’s why the state Demo­c­ratic Party has been relentless in their attempt to smear and damage his standing,” Stockford said.

Craig said he remains hopeful as election season inches closer.

“I am humbled by the support of Mayor Stockford and I look forward to working with him to serve the people of Hillsdale and the sur­rounding region as Michi­gan’s next gov­ernor,” Craig told The Collegian.

Regardless of the outcome, Stockford said he main­tains his support for Craig.

“I’ve been a vocal sup­porter of Chief James Craig for years and have been encour­aging him to run for state office, so it’s only natural I would con­tinue that support when he finally pulled the trigger on it,” Stockford said.