John James
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 10th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byLisa McClain (redistricted)
Personal details
John Edward James

(1981-06-08) June 8, 1981 (age 43)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseElizabeth James
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service2004–2012
Battles/warsIraq War

John Edward James (born June 8, 1981) is an American politician, businessman, and veteran serving as the U.S. representative for Michigan's 10th congressional district since 2023.[1][2] A member of the Republican Party, he was its nominee for U.S. Senate in 2018 and 2020.[3]

In 2022, James declared his candidacy in Michigan's redrawn 10th congressional district. He defeated Democratic nominee Carl Marlinga by a narrow margin.

Early life and military career

James was born in Southfield, Michigan, in 1981 and grew up Baptist[4] in the Palmer Woods neighborhood of Detroit. He graduated from the Catholic Brother Rice High School in 1999.[5] He graduated from the United States Military Academy (West Point) in 2004,[5][6] and served eight years in the Army, participating in multiple tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom as an AH-64 Apache pilot.[7][8] Two of his West Point classmates are fellow Congressmen Wesley Hunt and Pat Ryan.[9] He attended the Ranger School and became Ranger-tabbed as a Captain.[10][11]

James received a master's degree in supply chain management from Penn State University's Smeal College of Business[7] and an MBA from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.[12]

Business career

In 2012, James joined James Group International, where his father, John A. James, was the CEO.[13] James Group is a global supply chain management service company; James became its director of operations, and eventually became president of James Group International and CEO of its subsidiary, Renaissance Global Logistics.[14][6] Renaissance Global, based in Detroit, was the recipient of a $1–2 million Paycheck Protection Program loan during the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]

James was named one of Detroit Business Journal's 30 in their 30s of 2012, and Michigan Chronicle's 40 under 40 of 2014.[16] He served as a board member of the Michigan Council for Future Mobility, Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and National Veteran Business Development Council. He serves on the Detroit Workforce Development Board.[17]

Political career

2018 U.S. Senate race

Main article: 2018 United States Senate election in Michigan

James with Trump at the White House in September 2018

In September 2017, James entered the Republican primary for the 2018 United States Senate election in Michigan[18] in an attempt to unseat three-term incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow, as well as become Michigan's first African-American senator. Despite musician and Michigan native Kid Rock publicly toying with the idea of running for the seat for months, the primary came down to James and Grosse Pointe businessman and former Wayne County Commissioner Sandy Pensler.[19] James was endorsed via Twitter by President Donald Trump on July 27, 2018, eleven days before the primary.[20] James won the nomination with 55% of the vote.[21]

On November 6, 2018, Stabenow defeated James, 52.3% to 45.8%.[22]

Potential United Nations ambassadorship

In late November 2018, Bloomberg News reported that Trump was considering nominating James to become the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, to replace Ambassador Nikki Haley, who previously announced that she was planning to leave the Trump administration by the end of 2018. James reportedly met at the White House with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.[23] He was ultimately bypassed for the position. Trump announced he would appoint Heather Nauert, the Spokesperson for the United States Department of State and a former television reporter, to succeed Haley,[24] but Nauert was never nominated and announced in February 2019 that she was withdrawing from consideration.[25]

After Nauert's withdrawal, Trump again considered James for the ambassadorship,[26] but eventually nominated United States Ambassador to Canada Kelly Knight Craft for the post.[27]

2020 U.S. Senate race

Main article: 2020 United States Senate election in Michigan

Because the election margin in the 2018 Senate race was smaller than expected, James became a front-runner for the Republican nomination to take on Michigan's other incumbent Democratic senator, Gary Peters, in the 2020 election.[28][29]

As well as being recruited to take on Peters, it was reported in June 2019 that the National Republican Congressional Committee was recruiting James to challenge freshman Democratic U.S. Representative Haley Stevens of Michigan's 11th congressional district.[30]

On June 6, 2019, James announced that he was seeking the Republican nomination in 2020 to take on Peters.[31] Michigan was one of two states in which an incumbent Democratic senator was seeking reelection during 2020 in a state won by Trump in 2016, the other being Alabama.[32] Although the Associated Press called the race for Peters on November 4, 2020,[3] James refused to concede, which Peters termed "pathetic."[33] James initially insisted that the election had not been administered fairly.[34] He established a joint legal fund with the Republican National Committee to challenge the results.[35] James claimed there was "ample evidence" for an investigation, but offered none.[36] He raised $2 million after the election as he sought to challenge the election results, and he unsuccessfully attempted to block certification of the results of the election, which he lost to Peters by 1.7% of the vote, which was much closer than originally projected.[37] James conceded on November 24 over social media, congratulating Peters.[38]

During his campaign, James pledged to give 5% of his campaign contributions to charity. The James fundraising committee reported about $46.12 million in total contributions for the 2020 election and has given more than $2.36 million to charities following through on his pledge.[39]

U.S House of Representatives



Main article: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan § District 10

James won the Republican primary in the 2022 election in Michigan's 10th congressional district.[40] He defeated Democrat Carl Marlinga in the November general election.[41]

Committee assignments

As of the 118th Congress, James is a member of the following committees.[42]

Political positions

James and other members of the US Congress with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, November 12, 2023

During his 2018 Senate campaign, James ran on a typical Republican platform, describing himself on his campaign website as "a pro-life, pro-second amendment, pro-business conservative."[43] He emphasized his desire to defund Planned Parenthood[43] and compared Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, to "genocide."[44] He opposes the death penalty, does not believe employers should be able to fire workers due to their sexual orientation, and opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana.[45]

James says he wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which he has called "a monstrosity."[46] According to The Detroit Free Press, James was careful not to take a position on the Trump administration's lawsuit seeking to immediately strike down the entire ACA as unconstitutional.[47] When pressed in a September 2020 interview, he said he was against the ACA lawsuit without a replacement plan in place, but did not criticize Republicans for pushing the lawsuit.[48]

James supported Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries.[45] He later became a Trump supporter,[45] and tweeted in 2018 that, if elected to the Senate, he would back Trump "2,000%."[49][50] During his 2020 campaign, James accepted Trump's endorsement and campaigned alongside him.[51][52] James has not been publicly critical of Trump or his actions.[47] During a meeting with black faith leaders, James was asked whether he disagreed with Trump on anything. James said, "Everything from cutting Great Lakes funding to 'shithole countries' to speaking ill of the dead. I mean, where do you want to start?"[53] In a leaked audio recording of a meeting with African American leaders in Michigan, James was asked why he hadn't publicly criticized Trump. He said he thought it was better to be silent in public in order to gain access to Trump. James said, "Donald Trump doesn't need less Black folks around him, he needs more," and that his goal was "achieving equity and equality for our people, not standing up on Twitter and condemning folks."[54] During the campaign, Democrats sought to tie James to Trump, while James has said his candidacy was not a referendum on Trump.[43]

During his 2020 campaign, James declined to take specific positions on a number of policy questions, including how the Social Security Trust Fund would be protected from the impact of a payroll tax cut, whether the Senate should vote to confirm a new Supreme Court justice to fill the vacancy created by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg before or after the 2020 presidential election, and whether he thinks military bases named for Confederate generals should be renamed.[47][55][56]

Personal life

James married his wife, Elizabeth, in 2012.[57] They have three sons.[58] When James was still dating Elizabeth, he had an encounter with police at a mall in a suburb of Detroit in which the officers drew their guns on him; James believes that if Elizabeth had not been beside him, he might have been killed. He has also expressed his fear of being killed whenever police pull him over for a traffic stop.[59]

James is a nondenominational Christian.[4]

Electoral history

2018 United States Senate election in Michigan (Republican primary)[60]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John James 518,564 54.7
Republican Sandy Pensler 429,885 45.3
Republican William White (write-in) 57 .01
2018 United States Senate election in Michigan[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Debbie Stabenow (incumbent) 2,214,478 52.26 -6.54%
Republican John James 1,938,818 45.76 +7.78%
Green Marcia Squier 40,204 0.95 +0.35
Constitution George Huffman III 27,251 0.64 +0.08
Natural Law John Howard Wilhelm 16,502 0.39 +0.15
Write-in Total write-in 18 0.00043 -0.0014
Majority 275,660 6.5% -14.32
Turnout 4,237,231 100.0% -8.9
Democratic hold
2020 United States Senate election in Michigan[61]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Gary Peters (incumbent) 2,734,568 49.90% -4.71%
Republican John James 2,642,233 48.22% +6.89%
Constitution Valerie Willis 50,597 0.92% -0.28%
Green Marcia Squier 39,217 0.72% -0.12%
Natural Law Doug Dern 13,093 0.24% N/A
Write-in 12 0.00% ±0.00%
Total votes 5,479,720 100.0%
Democratic hold
2022 Michigan's 10th congressional district election[62]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John James 159,202 48.80
Democratic Carl Marlinga 157,602 48.31
Working Class Andrea Kirby 5,905 1.81
Libertarian Mike Saliba 3,524 1.08
Write-in 4 0.00
Total votes 326,237 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic

See also


  1. ^ Spangler, Todd (January 31, 2022). "John James enters race for Congress after 2 unsuccessful runs for Senate". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  2. ^ "Michigan 10th Congressional District Election Results". The New York Times. November 8, 2022. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Ehley, Brianna (November 4, 2020). "Gary Peters Wins Reelection in Michigan". Politico.
  4. ^ a b Miller, John J. (May 14, 2020). "John James, the Michigan GOP's Rising Star". National Review. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Peters, Jeremy W. (August 3, 2018). "John James, Black and Republican, Thinks He Can Crack the 'Blue Wall' in Michigan". The New York Times.
  6. ^ a b Livengood, Chad (July 18, 2017). "Detroit Businessman John E. James Moves into Campaign Mode for U.S. Senate". Crain's Detroit Business.
  7. ^ a b King, R.J.; Schultz, John S.; Beaman, Tom; Keenan, Tim & Calabrese, Dan (October 8, 2012). "30 in Their Thirties 2012". Detroit Business Journal. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Fink, Jenni (October 9, 2018). "Trump Jr. Embodies Party of Privilege, Activist Says, But Michigan GOP Senate Candidate Says His Ancestors Were Slaves". Newsweek. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  9. ^ "Bipartisan band of brothers: The West Point grads coming to Congress". Politico. November 26, 2022. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  10. ^ Gibbons, Lauren (July 18, 2017). "Detroit Businessman John E. James Exploring Run for U.S. Senate". MLive. Booth Michigan. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  11. ^ LaDuke, Veronica (March 5, 2014). "John James to Lead Michigan Veterans Trust Fund Board" (Press release). Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  12. ^ Johnstone, Keith (September 21, 2020). "As a Black man, I Am Ashamed of John James". The Michigan Daily (Opinion). University of Michigan. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  13. ^ Karoub, Jeff (August 8, 2018). "Trump-Backed John James Wins Michigan's GOP Senate Nod". Associated Press. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  14. ^ Livengood, Chad (April 15, 2018). "From a Liquidated Trucking Company, a Logistics Group Rises". Crain's Detroit Business.
  15. ^ Eggert, David (July 6, 2020). "Firms tied to legislative leader, Senate Candidate Got Loans". Associated Press.
  16. ^ Wheeler, Tatiana (October 1, 2014). "Congratulations to Our Class of 2014 40 Under 40!". Michigan Chronicle. Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  17. ^ McKinney, Jeffrey (June 7, 2017). "Is This BE 100s Executive Michigan's Next Republican Senator?". Black Enterprise. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  18. ^ Spangler, Todd (September 21, 2017). "Metro Detroit Businessman John James Joins U.S. Senate Race". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  19. ^ Oosting, Jonathan & Nann Burke, Melissa (November 20, 2017). "Pensler Joins U.S. Senate Race to Take on Stabenow". The Detroit News. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  20. ^ Gibbons, Lauren (July 27, 2018). "Donald Trump Endorses John James in Michigan's U.S. Senate Race". MLive. Booth Michigan. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  21. ^ Bureau of Elections (September 27, 2018). "2018 Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  22. ^ a b Bureau of Elections (November 26, 2018). "2018 Michigan Election Results". Michigan Department of State. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  23. ^ Jacobs, Jennifer (November 26, 2018). "Trump Considering Ex-Michigan Senate Candidate for UN Ambassador, Sources Say". Bloomberg News. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  24. ^ Johnson, Eliana; Toosi, Nahal; Orr, Gabby & Strauss, Daniel (December 7, 2018). "Trump Picks State Department Spokeswoman for top UN Post". Politico. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  25. ^ Shesgreen, Deirdre (February 16, 2019). "Heather Nauert, President Trump's Choice for UN Ambassador Job, Withdraws in Surprise Move". USA Today. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  26. ^ "Michigan's John James in Running for UN Ambassador, Reports Say". Detroit Free Press. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  27. ^ Rucker, Philip & Gearan, Anne (February 22, 2019). "Trump Announces Nomination of Kelly Knight Craft to Be Ambassador to United Nations". The Washington Post.
  28. ^ Fleming, Leonard N. (November 12, 2018). "GOP Sees Bright Future for James After Close Senate Race". The Detroit News. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  29. ^ Gibbons, Lauren (December 1, 2018). "Michigan Republicans Hopeful in John James' Political Future After U.S. Senate Loss". MLive. Booth Michigan. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  30. ^ Barrett, Malachi (June 5, 2019). "Republicans Want John James to Run Again, Help Trump Win Michigan". MLive. Booth Michigan. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  31. ^ Nann Burke, Melissa & Oosting, Jonathan (June 5, 2019). "John James Announces Second Run for U.S. Senate in Michigan". The Detroit News. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  32. ^ Bowman, Bridget; Pathé, Simone & Akin, Stephanie (November 4, 2019). "The Most Vulnerable Senators in 2020: Republicans Play Defense". Roll Call. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  33. ^ Eggert, David (November 5, 2020). "Peters Says James' Refusal to Concede Election 'Pathetic'". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  34. ^ Gibbons, Lauren (November 5, 2020). "Attorney for John James says he has 'serious concerns' with Wayne County election process". MLive. Booth Michigan. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  35. ^ "John James launches legal defense fund as he contests Michigan election results". WJBK. November 11, 2020.
  36. ^ Haddad, Ken (November 5, 2020). "With Peters ahead, John James says 'ample evidence' for investigation, but offers none". WDIV-TV.
  37. ^ Barrett, Malachi (December 7, 2020). "John James raised $2M after election loss, collecting donations for challenging results". MLive.
  38. ^ DesOrmeau, Taylor (November 25, 2020). "John James concedes Senate race, congratulates Gary Peters with bottle of Scotch". MLive. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  39. ^ Mauger, Craig (July 16, 2021). "John James campaign says it's achieved promise, giving $2.3M to charity". The Detroit News.
  40. ^ Schnell, Mychael (January 31, 2022). "Republican John James announces congressional bid in Michigan". The Hill. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  41. ^ "John James, Carl Marlinga set to face off for 10th Congressional district". WXYZ-TV. August 3, 2022. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  42. ^ "Committees and Caucuses". January 3, 2023.
  43. ^ a b c Barrett, Malachi (September 21, 2019). "John James Says His 2020 Senate Run Is About Michigan, not Trump". MLive. Booth Michigan. Retrieved April 18, 2020. Among James' top legislative priorities is creating an educational environment that gives parents and teachers more power, saying poor education outcomes are the root cause of many of the country's problems.
  44. ^ Barrett, Malachi (November 23, 2019). "Michigan Democrats Hit John James for Anti-Abortion Comments". MLive. Booth Michigan. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  45. ^ a b c Fleming, Leonard N.; Oosting, Jonathan (July 6, 2018). "James, Pensler clash on abortion, Trump in GOP U.S. Senate debate". The Detroit News. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  46. ^ Perks, Ashley (December 3, 2019). "GOP Set for All-Out Battle over Michigan Senate Seat". The Hill. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  47. ^ a b c Spangler, Todd (September 24, 2020). "In One of the Nastier Races, John James and Sen. Gary Peters Offer Different Styles". Detroit Free Press.
  48. ^ LaFave, Nick (September 28, 2020). "After Months, John James Says He Is Against ACA Lawsuit Without a 'Plan in Place'". Walker, Michigan: WZZM-TV.
  49. ^ Nann Burke, Melissa (June 5, 2019). "John James Pursues Second Run for U.S. Senate in Michigan". The Detroit News. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  50. ^ Spanger, Todd (October 15, 2018). "Stabenow, James Go After Each Other in First U.S. Senate Debate". Detroit Free Press.
  51. ^ Barrett, Malachi (September 10, 2020). "Donald Trump Offers 'Total and Complete Endorsement' of John James in Michigan". MLive. Booth Michigan.
  52. ^ Nann Burke, Melissa (June 10, 2020). "Democrats: White House Event Promoting John James Violated Hatch Act". The Detroit News.
  53. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (May 9, 2020). "The One Republican Senate Candidate Willing to Call Out Donald Trump". Politico.
  54. ^ DeVito, Lee (May 29, 2020). "Republican Senate Candidate John James Says It's Pointless to Call Out Trump's Racism in Leaked Audio". Detroit Metro Times. Archived from the original on July 31, 2021. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  55. ^ Barrett, Malachi (September 24, 2020). "Michigan Democrats Push John James to Clarify Stance on Supreme Court Vacancy". MLive. Booth Michigan.
  56. ^ Hendrickson, Clara (September 25, 2020). "John James Stands Out for Not Taking Stance on Vacant Supreme Court Seat". Detroit Free Press.
  57. ^ James, John [@johnjamesmi] (December 29, 2017). "Five years ago today, I married the love of my life. And you have said 'I do' to our crazy adventure together 1,825 times since! Happy Anniversary, Elizabeth. Your beauty is only surpassed by your mettle. You make me feel like we can change the world!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  58. ^ Krafcik, Michael (October 5, 2020). "U.S. Senate: John James, Republican". Kalamazoo, Michigan: WWMT-TV. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  59. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. & Gray, Kathleen (July 29, 2020). "A Black Republican Feels the Sting of Racism but Is Silent on Trump". The New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  60. ^ Bureau of Elections (August 7, 2018). "Michigan Primary results". 2018 Michigan Primary Election Results. Michigan Department of State. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  61. ^ "2020 Michigan Election Results Official". Michigan Secretary of State. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  62. ^ "2022 Michigan Election Results - General". Michigan Secretary of State. November 28, 2022. Archived from the original on November 29, 2022. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
Party political offices Preceded byPete Hoekstra Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Michigan(Class 1) 2018 Most recent Preceded byTerri Lynn Land Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Michigan(Class 2) 2020 U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byLisa McClain Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Michigan's 10th congressional district 2023–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byJonathan Jackson United States representatives by seniority 388th Succeeded bySydney Kamlager-Dove