Jun 6, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Republican John James enters Michigan Senate race

John James holding a microphone with an American flag in the background.

Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Businessman and combat veteran John James announced Thursday that he will make another Republican Senate bid in Michigan in 2020.

The state of play: James lost his 2018 run to four-term Sen. Debbie Stabenow, but this time around, he'll face Sen. Gary Peters, who is running for re-election for the first time and is the incumbent senator with the least name recognition nationally, according to Morning Consult.

  • James, who President Trump backed in the 2018 GOP primaries, tweeted: "We are heading in the wrong direction as a country and our leaders in Washington are failing to lead us toward a better and brighter future. I believe I can help lead Michigan toward that future we deserve, and that’s why I am running for U.S. Senate."
  • Senate Republicans have been urging James to make another go for the Senate against the wishes of Trump administration officials, who believe that his run could increase Democratic investment in Michigan in 2020, reports Politico.

The big picture: Trump won Michigan in 2016 by less than a percentage point, and his 2020 campaign has been preparing a digital campaign to boost support among key demographic groups — African Americans, Hispanics and suburban women — in swing areas like Detroit, per Axios' Alayna Treene and Jonathan Swan.

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