Michigan Republican military veteran and businessman John James will challenge Democratic Senator Gary Peters in 2020.
News broke Wednesday night via an email he sent out and a new campaign website. He followed it up with an appearance on Fox & Friends Thursday morning.
“I’d like to announce I’m running for US Senate after careful deliberation and thoughtful prayer. I believe that the time, again, is to serve. I believe that, right now, nothing has changed.”
The 37-year old military veteran and businessman won the Republican nomination for US Senate in 2018, but was defeated by Senator Debbie Stabenow by 6.5 points in November.
Many attribute the defeat to James being unable to raise enough money to compete with Stabenow. It looks like he’s already making an effort to change that this time around, inviting supporters to become one of his 2020 Founding Donors this morning.
Not all was lost for James in 2018. He went from being a relatively unknown figure in Michigan to coming within a few points of defeating an incumbent Democratic Senator.
An endorsement from President Trump helped him secure the Republican nomination. He was also able to quickly grow a grassroots following of GOP faithful who worked hard on his behalf.
Many of these same supporters seemed enthused with the idea of James running again, posting messages of support and photos of themselves with him on social media.
This time around, James will have the advantage of starting out his campaign with higher name ID and an enthusiastic base of supporters ready to work on his behalf.
Additionally, the late primary in 2018 forced James to spend more time and money winning the GOP nomination, and gave him only a few months to shift his attention towards the general election.
In 2020, it’s unlikely James will face a challenger in the March primary, and he can put more of his resources into the November election.
If he’s able to raise the money to compete, he’ll stand a legitimate chance at defeating Gary Peters and becoming the first Republican Senator from Michigan in nearly two decades.