Pro-Trump signs at an anti-Justin Amash rally in Grand Rapids, June 14, 2019
Businessman and Grand Rapids-area congressional candidate Joel Langlois has received the endorsement of a leading group of supporters of President Donald Trump.
Langlois is running for the state’s 3rd Congressional District, currently held by newly independent U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.), a district based around Grand Rapids and Battle Creek. Before becoming an independent in July, Amash stood as the only Republican in Congress to call for Trump’s impeachment.
Langlois is holding a press conference in Grand Rapids Monday evening, which Trump Michigan 2016 campaign head Scott Hagerstrom is scheduled to attend.
Langlois owns the DeltaPlex Arena in Walker, a Northwest suburb of Grand Rapids. The facility hosted several Trump rallies during the 2016 campaign, something the Michigan Trump Republicans noted in its endorsement announcement.
“Joel is the only candidate in this race who has stood with our president since the beginning. He has vowed to continue to have President Trump’s back in Congress,” the group said in a statement. “At the same time Joel was helping the president win Michigan, some of the Republican candidates in this race were attacking him.”
The statement endorsing Langlois focuses on his rival GOP primary opponent, Army veteran and retail chain heir Peter Meijer. The group says Meijer should “be honest with voters about his ‘Never-Trump’ record,” and cites a 2017 opinion piece he authored challenging the White House’s “half-truths and lies” on the Afghanistan war, past political donations and other grievances.
In a text message on Monday afternoon, Meijer said he never sought the group’s endorsement due to his support for U.S. Senate candidate John James.
James last year beat Detroit businessman Sandy Pensler in a GOP primary, but went on to be defeated by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing). James is now running against U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) in 2020.
The Michigan Trump Republicans group, Meijer said, is largely run by people with ties to Pensler’s campaign and “wouldn’t back me anyways.”
The announcement of support for Langlois made several attacks on Meijer, but made no mention of other GOP primary candidates, like state Reps. Lynn Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids Twp.) or James Lower (R-Greenville), who has made his support for Trump the key part of his campaign.
The Lower campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
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