- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 6, 2019

Republican John James announced Thursday he is running to unseat Democratic Sen. Gary Peters in the 2020 Michigan election, vowing to put the “country first” and to be a bulwark against socialism.

Mr. James, a black combat veteran and businessman, lost in the 2018 election to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, also a Democrat, but feels confident that effort provided him with a strong foundation heading into next year’s showdown with Mr. Peters, who captured his seat in the 2014 election.

“I understand what we need to do because I have experience as a business leader, as a job creator, how to protect people from socialism, how to bring people together and unite people so we can defeat the evils we face today,” Mr. James said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

Mr. James said “career politicians” are more concerned with getting reelected than addressing the nation’s most pressing problems.

“When I get there, we are going to make sure to put the American people first,” he said.

The Michigan Democratic Party mocked Mr. James for making his announcement on “Fox & Friends,” which has been friendly turf for Republicans.

“John James takes the softball approach by announcing on @foxandfriends,” the party said on Twitter. “How about facing real, tough questions coming from real Michigan reporters?”

Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, celebrated the news, saying, “@JohnJamesMI is a rockstar and poor Gary Peters is an unknown backbencher.”

Mr. James came 6.5 percentage points short of defeating Ms. Stabenow last fall and drew praise from Republicans for his stronger-than-anticipated challenge.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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