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Senate candidate James enlists Sen. Marco Rubio for campaign momentum

Former presidential candidate and current Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stopped by a small restaurant in Detroit to say a few words on behalf of Republican senate candidate John James. (WWMT/Mikenzie Frost)

The race to November has begun and Monday, Republican Senate candidate John James brought in a heavy-weight name to help him campaign.

Former presidential candidate and current Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stopped by a small restaurant in Detroit to say a few words on James’ behalf.

Down the road from James’ business, James Group International, sits Senor Lopez, a restaurant the James campaign said has been a favorite for James’ family for some time. Monday afternoon, campaign volunteers and supporters packed inside to listen to both James and Rubio.

“Faith, family, community and the dignity of work,” Rubio said, referring to the four pillars that Rubio said exemplify the conservative values.

Rubio endorsed James for his bid for Senate in late 2017. He said when he first heard about James, “You ask yourself why is this guy running for U.S. Senate, he’s got everything going right in his life, but we’re so grateful that he is.”

A conservative senator, Rubio said James’ family values and economic views will provide benefits in Congress.

“Building a better life for himself and his family: he’s lived it, he watches it every single day. We just desperately need policy makers that understand that,” Rubio said.

Before Rubio spoke, James said he had been a fan of Rubio’s work for a while, adding that he looks forward to working with the Florida senator in the future.

“You’ve blazed the path forward that I’m following behind. You are my role model,” James said. “Someone with a passion for service on the floor of the U.S. Senate, to support Sen. Rubio and folks who understand compassionate constitutionalism and conservatism, to make sure that everybody can participate in the American dream is absolutely necessary.”

James took over his father’s business after returning home from serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He said his experience serving in the military prepared him to serve the people of the United States and he knows what it will take to tackle the issue of border security.

“I think that as more people get to know who I am and understand my background, understand that I have the experience when my opponent doesn’t, understand national security because I’ve actually been on the front lines, and understand what it takes to keep America safe because I’ve done it before,” James said.

Taking this opportunity to speak to his base, James knocked the idea of a $15 minimum wage, and turned to the conversation of investing more in schools.

“When you have the left talking about $15 an hour, I’m saying why aren’t you teaching my baby how to make $1,500 an hour,” he said. “We don’t need free stuff, we need a fair shot.”

Rubio ended the event by thanking voters and supporters who helped James edge out his opponent in the Republican primary, earning 55 percent of the voters.

“Those [primaries] are always difficult and you know the political environment has not been friendly to Republicans traditionally over the past four to six cycles,” Rubio said.

He then encouraged James’ supporters to continue their efforts to work toward what he called change.

“You have a chance here in Michigan to make a major contribution so we can begin to turn this country in the right direction and we can have a 21st century that’s better than the 20th century,” Rubio said.

James is running on a conservative platform against his opponent, long-time Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who was first elected to the seat in 2000.

At the event, one supporter said he has been a fan of James from the beginning of this election season and believes it’s time for a change from Stabenow.

“She’s [Stabenow] been in office for many years and you really can’t pinpoint any actual accomplishments," Warren resident and James supporter Bob Little said. "John James, obviously with his background in the military, being a business man, is the kind of man the country needs to continue to keep the economic rebound we’ve been seeing,”

When asked about James’ lack of political experience being a concern, Little pointed to the national stage.

“I think that we’ve found that, we have a president that didn’t have any political experience and the economy is going very, very well and we want to keep that going and continue to do that as much as possible,” Little said.

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