Prominent Republican political strategist John Yob has quit former Detroit police chief James Craig’s campaign for governor, citing a disagreement on the direction Craig wanted to take in pursuing the governor’s office.
Yob and his Grand Rapids-based political consulting firm Strategic National LLC had been working with Craig since at least early summer to stand up a gubernatorial campaign.
“The chief has every right to run the non-traditional campaign that he wants to run and thinks will be successful,” Yob said in a statement. “… I didn’t agree with the direction that he wanted to go in the future and therefore it made sense to step aside and allow him the space to build a team that is willing to strategize and implement his vision for the campaign.”
The shakeup in Craig’s campaign came days after metro Detroit businessman Kevin Rinke entered the crowded Republican primary field, vowing to spend $10 million of his personal fortune to win the nomination to take on incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The dozen GOP gubernatorial hopefuls include conservative radio host Tudor Dixon, Michigan State Police Capt. Michael Brown, Kalmazoo chiropractor and COVID lockdown critic Garrett Soldano and Ryan Kelley, a township planning commissioner from Ottawa County.
Through Oct. 20, the Craig campaign had paid Yob’s Strategic National firm $51,324.49 for campaign consulting and organizing services, according to campaign finance records.
Craig raised $1.4 million for his campaign in a three-month period that ended Oct. 20, finance records show.
In September, the launch of Craig’s gubernatorial campaign was filled with the kind of buzz that Yob is known within state and national politics of being able to generate.
The retired police chief’s Sept. 14 campaign kickoff event at Belle Isle was disrupted by protesters, generating news coverage that got Craig on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show that night.
Craig later changed locations for his campaign kickoff, giving a rooftop speech at the former UAW-GM Center for Human Resources building along the Detroit riverfront.
But since that kickoff and his appearance at the Republican Party’s Mackinac leadership conference in late September, Craig’s campaigning for governor has been relatively quiet.
Ted Goodman, a spokesman for Craig’s campaign, offered no reason as to why Yob had quit.
“We thank John for his help in getting us to this point in the campaign and wish him nothing but the best,” Goodman said in a statement.