Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig suspended his Republican Senate campaign on Tuesday months ahead of the August primary.

Craig jumped in the GOP primary field in early October to replace outgoing Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2024. The former police chief told The Detroit News in an interview that he made a “business decision” to withdraw from the race, adding that he will weigh running for mayor of Detroit in 2025 instead.

“The reality is fundraising is a challenge right now,” Craig told the outlet.

The former police chief raised just $60,581 during the fourth fundraising quarter of 2023 and entered the election year with under $30,000 cash on hand, according to the Federal Election Commission filing. Craig was significantly out-raised by fellow Republican contenders Mike Rogers and Peter Meijer, both former congressmen.

“James Craig is a true son of Detroit who built a long and distinguished career in law enforcement that brought real change, safety, and security to his hometown,” Rogers said in a statement. “He made a real difference for the community and his dedication to public safety is respected throughout Southeast Michigan and America. I hope that he will continue to be engaged and I will seek his counsel on how we can work together to bring a brighter and safer future for all Michiganders.”

Rogers, who was recruited by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, brought in just over $1 million in the last quarter of 2023, and ended with $945,554 in the bank, according to the FEC filing. Meijer reported raising $508,162 during the time period with less than $400,000 in campaign cash.

“Chief Craig was a worthy Senate candidate, and he’d make a fantastic Mayor of Detroit if he chooses to run,” Meijer wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “I really enjoyed the chance to get to know the Chief during this campaign, and am excited to see where he directs his passion for public service next.”

Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin is the clear frontrunner in her party’s primary, but had been polling closely against all three Republican hopefuls. The congresswoman was losing to Craig by two points and tied with Meijer in a Detroit News/WDIV-TV poll released in mid-January, and was leading Rogers by only one point.

Mary Lou Masters on February 13, 2024

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