Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig effectively launched his campaign for Michigan governor on Wednesday, announcing that he has formed an exploratory committee for the position. 

Craig, a Republican, retired as Detroit police chief on June 1. Seven other Republicans have formed campaign committees, but Craig is more widely known than the other contenders and is seen by some Michigan Republicans as a top contender to challenge Democratic incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Craig's campaign said in a press release that a formal campaign launch and rallies will likely take place after Labor Day. For now, Craig is starting to raise money and will be going on a statewide listening tour, CBS reports.

In a video released by the campaign, Craig touted his career in law enforcement and experience leading the Detroit Police Department. He highlighted his efforts to keep Detroit safe last summer amid nationwide protests. He also spoke about his memories of Detroit's 1967 riots and his work to improve the city's police department.  

"We led from the front, we turned it around and made Detroit a safer city," Craig said in the video.

The election is more than a year away and Whitmer already has $10 million to pursue re-election.

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