Posted 6 days ago
In a race that received widespread national attention and generated millions of dollars in spending, Donald Trump-endorsed challenger John Gibbs stunned Rep. Peter Meijer in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary on Aug. 2.
It served as another test for House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the U. S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021.
Meijer, whose surname is familiar because of his family’s national supercenter chain that is based in Michigan, was the only freshman legislator of the 10 House Republicans who chose to impeach the president in the final days of his term.
In Washington state hours after Meijer was defeated, two additional Trump impeachment voters won their respective primaries.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Rep. Dan Newhouse held off their Trump-backed challengers in districts that are considered moderate.
Among the 10 House Republicans who supported impeachment, four decided to not seek reelection. Rep. Tom Rice lost his primary in South Carolina by around 27 percentage points to Trump-endorsed challenger Russell Fry.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is the final House Republican who voted for Trump’s impeachment to face a primary. Cheney is vice chair of the committee investigating the Jan. 6 events at the U. S. Capitol. Wyoming’s primary is Aug. 16.
Before the results were announced, Roll Call elections analyst Nathan Gonzales told reporters that the Aug. 2 primaries “could confirm an emerging trend: Republicans who voted to impeach Trump either don’t seek reelection or lose in traditional primaries.”
“Pro-impeachment Republicans who have the luxury of running in states with nontraditional primaries [and don’t have to rely on support from base GOP voters] have a chance to survive,” Gonzales explained. “That’s good news for Herrera Beutler and Newhouse and bad news for Meijer, and later Cheney.”
Many political pundits suggested that Herrera Beutler and Newhouse would benefit from Washington’s open, nonpartisan primary system where the top two finishers regardless of party affiliation move on to the general election.
In Michigan’s 3rd District, Gibbs was a little-known candidate when he entered the race.
He served as a U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official under Dr Ben Carson during the Trump administration and was appointed by Trump to lead the Office of Personnel Management but was not confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Meijer embraced his role as the only freshman legislator who voted to impeach Trump, three days after he was sworn into office.
Gibbs consistently reminded voters that Meijer not only cast a vote to impeach Trump, but also supported gun control and joined House Democrats on other bills.
At his watch party in Byron Center, Michigan, Gibbs socialized with supporters early and then joined campaign staffers in a separate room as results poured in. He gained an early lead, but then Meijer caught up and led by a percentage point.
Around 11 p.m., the once boisterous party became quieter. Spirits were lifted when Gibbs walked into the room, addressed the crowd, and told them they “we like where we are” because the only votes left to be counted were in areas that are favorable for Gibbs.
Gibbs was right. In the next hour, he regained the lead and won by more than four percentage points, according to Decision Desk HQ.
Trump called Gibbs after 1 a.m. to offer congratulations.
Just got a call from President Trump, congratulating me and my team on tonight’s big win! Thank you, Mr. President for your support! pic.twitter.com/43BZfvqBEo... (Read more)