Former GOP Rep Jumps In Swing-State Senate Race

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Former Republican Rep. Peter Meijer announced his candidacy Monday for outgoing Democratic Michigan Rep. Debbie Stabenow’s seat in 2024.

Meijer already had an exploratory committee for the seat that he launched in late August, where he was able to raise funds ahead of an official run. The former congressman wrote in a campaign press release that he believes he is the Republican with “the best chance” of winning the Democratic-held seat, where he will face several opponents in a crowded GOP primary. (RELATED: Former GOP Rep Takes Major Step Toward Running For Senate In 2024)

“My wife and I prayed hard about this race and how we can best serve our state and our nation,” Meijer said in a statement. “We considered every aspect of the campaign, and are confident we have the best chance of taking back this seat for the Republicans and fighting hard for a conservative future.”

“We are in dark and uncertain times, but we have made it through worse. The challenges are great, but so is our country. If we are to see another great American century, we need leaders who aren’t afraid to be bold, will do the work, and can’t be bought,” Meijer continued.

Meijer previously served in the U.S. Army Reserve prior to winning his congressional seat in 2020, beating his Democrat opponent by 6 points. The former congressman lost a second term in 2022 after being primaried by Republican John Gibbs, who went on to lose the seat to now-Democratic Rep. Hillary Scholten.

The former congressman voted with nine other House Republicans to impeach former President Donald Trump in 2021 following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, leading Gibbs, endorsed by the former president, to defeat him the following year.

Among the crowded GOP primary field is another former congressman Mike Rogers, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and several other lesser-known Republicans. Rep. Elissa Slotkin is the frontrunner in the also crowded Democratic primary field.

An early August Emerson College survey found that Rogers is the current frontrunner at 12% support, followed by Meijer with 9%. Slotkin beat Meijer, Rogers and Craig by 6 points, 7 points and 7 points, respectively, in hypothetical head-to-head matchups.

Stabenow’s seat, which she’s held since 2001, is characterized by The Cook Political Report as in the “Lean D” column, along with other contentious races in Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“My family taught me the value of hard work, Michigan values, and the importance of service. With a new son, my wife and I feel a great sense of responsibility to do everything we can to ensure our best times lie ahead, and here to continue for generations,” said Meijer.

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