John James, a businessman and veteran whom President Trump once called “a future star of the Republican Party,” announced Thursday on Fox News that he plans to mount another campaign in Michigan for the U.S. Senate in 2020.
In an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” James said he has filed paperwork to run for the seat occupied by incumbent Democratic Sen. Gary Peters.
“I would like to announce that I am running for U.S. Senate after careful deliberation and thoughtful prayer,” James said. “I believe that the time, again, is to serve.”
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James garnered national attention when he ran against incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018. He lost the race by 7 points.
The announcement from James – a former Army captain – comes on the 75th anniversary of D-Day. His campaign said they plan to officially launch the campaign early next year.
“I understand what we need to do because I have experience as a business leader, as a job creator,” James said on Fox News. “How to protect our economy from socialism. How to bring people together and unite people to make sure that we can defeat the evils that face us today.”
Peters’ campaign released a statement in response to James’ entrance into the race by noting how Trump signed some of Peters’ legislative efforts into law, including a law protecting the intellectual property and patents of small businesses.
“I’m focused on continuing to deliver results for Michigan,” Peters said. “I’ll keep working with anyone to improve life for Michiganders, whether it’s to expand training programs so everyone has the skills needed to find good-paying jobs, protect our Great Lakes or lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs.”
Unlike in 2018, if James is the Republican nominee, he would run on the same ballot in 2020 as Trump, something that could boost GOP turnout for the candidate in a state the president won in 2016.
But according to Politico, Trump’s campaign is opposed to James running again in 2020 over worries it could energize Democrats and hurt the president’s re-election efforts. The report said the Trump campaign had hoped James would opt to run for a congressional seat instead.
Earlier this year, James had been considered by Trump to become ambassador to the United Nations. But the president decided to tap Kelly Knight Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, instead.