"Today I believe it is the right thing to do to congratulate Sen. Peters," James, a military veteran, said in a video posted on Twitter. "Senator, you may not remember this, but you and I actually shared a glass of scotch at a Pistons game a few years back. So, in the spirit of the holidays, there is a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label coming your way soon."
James’ bid to unseat Peters was one of the country’s most closely watched Senate races during the 2020 election cycle. The businessman and Iraq war veteran came close to defeating the incumbent Democrat and becoming the first Republican elected to one of Michigan’s Senate seats in more than two decades.
While the race was deemed too close to call on Nov. 3, Peters eventually secured a winning margin of roughly 92,000 votes. Peters declared victory on Nov. 5.
The James campaign refused to concede the race and stood alongside President Trump’s legal team in raising questions about potential voting irregularities in Wayne County, Michigan. James had called for a delay on certification of Michigan’s vote until an audit could be conducted.
However, Michigan’s board of state canvassers certified election results in a 3-0 vote earlier this week, effectively scuttling challenges from both the Trump and James campaigns.
In his concession message, James thanked board member Norman Shinkle, a Republican, who opted to abstain from the vote and called for an overhaul of Michigan’s elections processes.
“The results of the election were certified yesterday and I’m happy that the board of canvassers, led by Norm Shinkle, asked the legislature to take a top-down view of election law, but it’s too late for me,” James said.
Control over the U.S. Senate will depend on the outcome of runoff races for both of Georgia’s seats. The Democratic Party can secure a 50-50 tie with victories in both of those races.
"Michigan, the 2020 battle for this Senate seat is over, but the battle for the future of this great country will never be over, and I will never retire from that battlefield, ever, and neither should you," James added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.