JAMES VS. SLOTKIN
While John James could run for governor in 2022, he could also pivot and run for the U.S. House, based on polling he has been doing of late. MIRS, the political and legislative newsletter from Lansing, reported in early April that James was the subject of the above-mentioned phone poll (reportedly 10 minutes in length) about both Democrats Gretchen Whitmer and Elissa Slotkin. A run for Congress has been suggested for James since his failed runs against both Senator Gary Peters in 2020 and in 2018 against Debbie Stabenow. While no one knows what the new districts will look like for 2022 until the newly empowered state redistricting committee finishes its work, candidates for congress do not have to live within the district they are seeking, so the Farmington Hills-based James could take on Slotkin regardless of new district geography. A run against Slotkin would fit with the 2022 plans now being pursued by GOP recruiters in Washington, who are seeking military veterans like James to take on the challenge in over 40 targeted districts next year, the playbook Democrats successfully followed in 2018 to take control of the House. Slotkin’s past national security experience, her D.C. rep as a moderate Democrat and her growing national media profile, however, could prove tough to beat on the campaign trail, no matter how much national Republicans hope to flip this district. Another factor is money. While James has been a prodigious fundraiser, the latest FEC filing shows him to be almost $5,000 in the hole, versus Slotkin, who has raised almost a million this election cycle and has over $2.25 million cash on hand, versus James $1 million cash on hand.