Rep. Peter Meijer, who ripped Democrats this week for bankrolling his Trump-backed primary opponent, lost his bid for a second House term to challenger John Gibbs in Michigan’s Third District Tuesday.
Meijer, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the 45th president over last year’s Capitol riot — and who was targeted for defeat by Trump as a result — conceded early Wednesday with results showing Gibbs ahead by almost 4,000 votes with more than 88% of the expected ballots counted.
“This was a hard-fought primary campaign and I want to thank everyone in west Michigan for their support. … I also want to congratulate my opponent, John Gibbs, on his victory tonight,” Meijer said in a statement, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m proud to have remained true to my principles, even when doing so came at a significant political cost,” he added.
Gibbs posted on Twitter that Trump had called him, “congratulating me and my team on tonight’s big win!”
Meijer on Monday called out the House Democrats’ campaign organization for what he called a “naked political gambit” by heavily donating to Gibbs in a transparent attempt to elevate the “weaker Republican candidate ahead of the November midterm elections.”
He said the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $435,000 on an ad buy to promote Gibbs in the waning days of the primary — more than Gibbs had raised during his entire campaign and nearly 100 times more than Trump contributed via his Save America Super PAC.
“In other words, the Democrats are not merely attempting to boost a candidate over the finish line: They are subsidizing his entire campaign,” the congressman wrote on the website Common Sense.
Meijer also blasted the hypocrisy of the Democrats for backing a conspiracy theorist who claims that fraud cost Trump the 2020 election against someone who was among the first Republicans to recognize President Biden’s win.
“[Y]ou would think that the Democrats would look at John Gibbs and see the embodiment of what they say they most fear. That as patriots they would use every tool at their disposal to defeat him and similar candidates that they’ve said are an existential threat,” the Republican wrote. “Instead they are funding Gibbs.”
Gibbs will face Hillary Scholten for a House seat that Democrats will be favored to flip back into the blue column in November.
Another Trump-backed candidate in Michigan, Tudor Dixon, emerged atop a crowded field to win the GOP gubernatorial primary.
She will challenge Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer in November.