Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) | Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Republican former U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer, heir to the Meijer grocery chain fortune, has announced his 2024 U.S. Senate bid, joining a crowded field seeking to replace retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing).
Meijer, an Iraq war veteran, was ousted by Republican challenger John Gibbs in the 2022 Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District seat anchored in Grand Rapids. Gibbs was eventually defeated by now-U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-Grand Rapids) in the 2022 midterm election.
Gibbs, who worked in the Department of Housing and Urban Development under former President Donald Trump, received an endorsement from the former president, while Meijer was one of 10 Republican representatives who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol. Gibbs is now the Ottawa County administrator.
“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 announcing his campaign. “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 said.
Following Meijer’s campaign announcement, the Michigan Republican Party made a since-deleted post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that read: “Peter Meijer voted to impeach President Trump. Remember that.”
After the post was deleted, the party released a statement saying it remains “neutral and supportive of all Republican Primary candidates.”
“Unfortunately, an overzealous intern posted a negative comment regarding a candidate that does not reflect the position of MIGOP. This matter has since been dealt with and the post removed. Our sincerest apologies,” the statement read.
Meijer joins nine other Republicans looking to claim Stabenow’s seat: ormer U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers; former Detroit Police Chief James Craig; Board of Education member Nikki Snyder; former Berrien County Commissioner Ezra Scott; Alexandria Taylor, an attorney who has previously represented Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo; Sherry O’Donnell, a former 2022 congressional candidate and Michigan state chair for U.S. Term Limits; conservative businessman J.D. Wilson; Sharon Savage, an educator who worked for the Warren Consolidated School District for 42 years; and Michael Hoover, who previously worked for Dow Chemical Co.
Democrats in the race are also facing a packed ballot, with U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly); Michigan Board of Education President Pamela Pugh; actor Hill Harper; attorney Zack Burns; businessman Nasser Beydoun; and former state Rep. Leslie Love looking to succeed Stabenow.
According to a report from Politico, Meijer’s campaign received a less-than-favorable reception from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, with NRSC Executive Director Jason Thielman telling Politico in a statement that Meijer “Isn’t viable in a primary election, and there’s worry that if Meijer were nominated, the base would not be enthused in the general election.”
The NRSC is backing Rogers. Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos of the billionaire DeVos family has maxed out her contributions to Rogers’ campaign.
There’s some concern from Republicans that Meijer and Rogers could divide the establishment vote, paving the way for a less-competitive candidate to win the primary and hurting the party’s chances to capture the open seat.
Michigan was last represented in 2000 by a Republican in the U.S. Senate by Spencer Abraham, who lost that year to Stabenow.
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