Black Republican running for Senate in Michigan


Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 6/6/2019, 12:02 p.m.
John James, a Black Republican business man in Michigan, said Thursday that he intends to challenge..
John James

John James, a Black Republican business man in Michigan, said Thursday that he intends to challenge first-term Democrat Gary Peters for his Senate seat, reports the Associated Press. James is a 36-year-old combat veteran and CEO of an automotive logistics firm in Detroit.

Last year, he lost to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, although he did b better than expected as a relatively unknown. “There’s so much work to be done to heal our nation and to unify our state. I just want to help people,” James told the Associated Press. He called himself a “compassionate conservative, a conscientious capitalist” who “has better ideas, has more energy and has a greater ability to bring us together than what we’re seeing out of Washington.”

James said he chose to file on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that helped change the course of World War II because it is a reminder of what Americans can do when they put their differences aside. He committed to donating a nickel from every campaign dollar he raises to charitable causes.

The West Point graduate and Iraq War helicopter pilot said he got the idea from what is known in the military as the “nickel ride,” in which first-time pilots give a nickel from the year they were born to their flight instructors.

“It’s the right thing to do,” James said. “I’ve always been taught that we have to use our blessings to be a blessing to others. When you take a look at how much money is going to be spent in this 2020 election cycle, I personally feel like someone should stand up and say that we can both raise enough money to win and have enough to give to people who are need.”

His opponent, Peters, 60, won election to an open seat in 2014 after serving three terms in the House. He previously was a state senator and lottery commissioner, served in the Navy Reserve and worked as an investment adviser. He is one of two Democratic incumbents up for re-election in a state won by Trump, who has called James a “star” and considered nominating him as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations