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Traditionally, candidates work the chicken dinner and Sunday church service circuits. Apparently, Republican candidate for Senate, John James, either didn’t read the memo, or thinks the rules don’t apply to him. According to The Detroit News opinion columnist Bankole Thompson, James declined an invitation to participate in an important Detroit political series called “Code Red: 2020 Community Conversations,” organized by Triumph Church, which “captures the whole spectrum of the Black community: young and old, well-educated and less educated – key demographics that a James campaign would need to woo in challenging his Democratic rival U.S. Sen. Gary Peters.” While James, who is Black, declined, Peters readily accepted the invitation. Thompson pointed out that James only garnered 9,000 votes in the city of Detroit in his last senatorial run, two years ago, against Sen. Debbie Stabenow – “One would have thought that Michigan’s lone Black Republican candidate for U.S. Senate who has been playing up his Detroit roots would clear his entire schedule to participate in a crucial public policy forum to explain how his candidacy would make life better for Detroiters.” James, a staunch supporter of President Trump, who found time to appear with the president in Saginaw a day after the church policy forum, has appealed to White evangelicals. In a time when Black Lives Matters is resounding with Black voters, perhaps a refocus is in order.


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