Anti-Trump Michigan GOP Rep. Peter Meijer locked in tight re-election race: Republican who voted to impeach ex-president is in a dead heat with MAGA challenger
- Rep. Peter Meijer faces a tough Republican primary in a district that’s increasingly blue overall, setting up a steep re-election challenge
- House Democrats’ campaign arm has poured cash into Meijer’s opponent John Gibbs’ campaign, in the hopes the fringe candidate will be easier to beat
- Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse are also two of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the Capitol riot
- They’re some of the biggest races on Tuesday as primary voters in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington head to the polls
- Beutler and Newhouse hold modest leads against their Trump-backed opponents as of just after midnight on the East Coast Wednesday
The supermarket chain heir and military veteran is trailing Trump-backed candidate John Gibbs by just a few thousand votes more than three hours after polls closed in Michigan’s Third Congressional District.
That’s with nearly half of the vote counted, according to the New York Times.
Meijer is one of three House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump who could see the end of their political careers on Tuesday evening, as Republican primary voters in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington went to the polls.
Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington are also tough challenges from Trump-backed primary opponents.
As of midnight on the East Coast on Wednesday, Beutler and Newhouse hold modest leads above their Trump-backed opponents.
Army veteran and grocery store chain heir Rep. Peter Meijer (left) is in a tight primary race against Trump-backed opponent John Gibbs (right)
Michigan’s newly-redrawn Congressional map recently made Meijer’s district bluer, creating a target for House Democrats hoping to flip the seat – in an otherwise gloomy forecast for their chances of keeping the majority in November.
Their campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), poured cash into Gibbs’ campaign in a last-minute push to get the fringe candidate over the edge.
A former official in Trump’s Housing and Urban Development Department, Gibbs is also known for once pushing a wild conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager John Podesta engaged in satanic rituals using bodily fluids.
He’s also spent significantly less on the campaign than Meijer has.
But unlike his other endorsements around the country, Trump did not campaign for Gibbs in the waning days of his race.
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Republican establishment figures have rushed to prop up candidates that would have a broader appeal among Independent and suburban voters amid concerns that Trump’s more fringe-right picks could cost the GOP critical swing districts in November.
In Washington’s Third Congressional District, Beutler is facing Trump-endorsed retired Green Beret Joe Kent, who believes the former president’s election fraud claims and has claimed ‘deep state’ operatives were behind the violence on January 6.
Beutler, who was elected in 2010, is also up against Heidi St. John, a Christian podcaster competing with Kent for the district’s most conservative voters.
In the neighboring deep-red Fourth Congressional District, Newhouse faces seven primary challengers – including Trump-backed military veteran and former police chief Loren Culp.
Four other House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump have already announced their retirements.
GOP Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina lost his primary in June after netting less than half the votes his Trump-backed challenger, Russell Fry, received.
California Republican Rep. Dave Valadao is the only one of the anti-Trump set to have won his primary. January 6 Committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney is projected to lose her primary later this month to Trump-backed Harriet Hageman.