Politics

Trump Campaign Org. Backs James in Michigan GOP Senate Primary

African-American Army vet is ‘best candidate’ to unseat Stabenow, Lara Trump says

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is awaiting a GOP challenger as the Trump campaign organization backs John James. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump political organization on Monday formally endorsed John James in Michigan’s GOP primary to decide who will try to unseat Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November.

“John James is the embodiment of the American Dream,” Lara Trump, a senior advisor to the Trump campaign organization. “Love of country and hard work have fueled John’s success in life, the military, and business, and have positioned him to be the best candidate to defeat Debbie Stabenow for the Senate this fall. As President Trump said in his endorsement, John James is a ‘spectacular candidate’ who will be a ‘star.’

James, who is African American, is a combat-decorated former Army helicopter pilot who served in the Iraq war. After his Army stint, he took a senior slot in the family business, the James Group International, and substantially increased its bottom line, according to his campaign website.

Recent polls put James ahead of businessman Sandy Pensler, but a NBC News/Marist poll found 46 percent of expected Republican voters in Michigan remain undecided.

Though a GOP challenger in the general election has yet to be decided, Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzales forecasts the race as “Solid Democratic.

James took to Twitter Sunday to thank the president and Vice President Mike Pence for their endorsements in the GOP primary.

Musician Kidd Rock, who mulled his own run for the seat as a Republican, campaigned for James last month.

The musician (real name: Robert Ritchie) encouraged Republican voters to support him in the state’s August 7 primary, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Ritchie told the crowd of supporters that James is the “best candidate to lead us on this journey.” James is a young conservative who made his success outside the political sphere “rather than using politics to be successful,” Ritchie said, according to the Detroit News.

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Jeff Cirillo contributed to this report.

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