Elections

Pro-Impeachment Rep. Peter Meijer Loses To Trump-Endorsed Primary Challenger John Gibbs

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Republican Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer lost his Tuesday primary race to former Department of Housing and Urban Development official John Gibbs, according to multiple reports.

Gibbs announced he would challenge Meijer in November 2021, and former President Donald Trump endorsed him the same week. Meijer was one of ten Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote to impeach Trump in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

With 88.2% of votes counted, Gibbs received 51.9% and Meijer garnered 48.1%. Several elections analysts called the race early Wednesday morning. Gibbs will go on to face Democrat Hillary Scholten, who ran unopposed, in November’s general election. Meijer defeated Scholten by six points in 2020.

Michigan’s 3rd District leans Democratic by three points, according to FiveThirtyEight, although the seat has been won by Republicans in every election since 1992.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) poured nearly $450,000 into ad buys promoting Gibbs in the last two weeks of the race. The ads highlight Gibbs’ opposition to abortion, as well as his endorsement from Trump. The Gibbs campaign raised $484,000 over the election cycle, and spent less than $340,000, Federal Election Commission records show. (RELATED: Primary Challenger Attacks DCCC Chair For Boosting Stop The Steal Republicans)

Many elected Democrats objected to the DCCC’s spending, noting Meijer’s vote to impeach Trump and his bipartisan record. Meijer and Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton secretly visited Afghanistan during the U.S.’s chaotic 2021 withdrawal, reporting back that Americans were relying on the Taliban to follow through on their evacuation and security guarantees. Meijer was also one of 24 House Republicans to vote in favor of the CHIPS and Science Act, which provides $280 billion for semiconductor subsidies and research and development.

WASHINGTON, MICHIGAN – APRIL 02: John Gibbs, a candidate for Congress in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional district, speaks at a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump on April 02, 2022 near Washington, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Meijer criticized the strategy in a Monday column for Bari Weiss’s Common Sense Substack, claiming that Democrats are “subsidizing [Gibbs’] entire campaign.”

“The Democrats are justifying this political jiu-jitsu by making the argument that politics is a tough business. I don’t disagree. But that toughness is bound by certain moral limits: Those who participated in the attack on the Capitol, for example, clearly fall outside those limits. But over the course of the midterms, Democrats seem to have forgotten just where those limits lie,” he added.

Nationwide, Democrats have spent millions boosting farther-right GOP candidates in hopes that they will be easier to defeat in competitive general elections.