Controversial Republican John James is running for something again


Ted Nugent and John James. - JOHN JAMES FOR U.S. SENATE CAMPAIGN
  • John James for U.S. Senate Campaign
  • Ted Nugent and John James.

John James is giving another shot at running for
U.S. Senate.

James, a conservative from Farmington Hills, was previously defeated by Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow for a U.S. Senate seat in November 2018, by a margin of 6.54 percent.

For a number of reasons, James seemed to be a magnet for controversies during his campaign for Stabenow’s seat, not least of which because his campaign commercial prominently featured a swastika. The TV ad, titled “Ready to Serve,” featured a shot of a hallway where a swastika was affixed to a bulletin board. While James said it was an accident, it’s no secret that many Republicans have become increasingly accepting of white nationalists and Neo-Nazis. 
The Black Republican also, oddly, accepted campaign donations from a PAC linked to white supremacists. The U.S. Immigration Reform PAC’s founder, Mary Lou Tanton, has worked with the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an organization identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. One of the group’s main goals is limiting "immigration mostly to northern Europeans," according to the SPLC.
Mary Lou Tanton is also married to John Tanton, who was identified as a right-wing extremist by the SPLC. In 1986, Tanton was quoted as saying, "As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion?"

Following James’ loss in the initial Senate race against Stabenow, James was considered for U.N. ambassador after Nikki Haley resigned. James had no apparent diplomatic experience and was eventually passed over for that role. Instead, Trump nominated State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert for the post, who shortly after withdrew herself from consideration.
Trump again considered James for the U.N. ambassador role in 2019,  according to The Detroit News — but the president ultimately selected Kelly Knight Craft, ambassador to Canada, for the role.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.