Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), who voted last year to impeach former President Trump, is projected to lose his primary Tuesday to Trump-backed challenger John Gibbs.
Gibbs’s victory is a major win for Trump, who vowed to exact revenge on any Republican who broke with him over his false claim that 2020 election was stolen or in the wake of the attack on the Capitol.
Meijer, a first-term congressman, was one of 10 House Republicans who voted last year to impeach the former president for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Gibbs, a former assistant Housing and Urban Development secretary, won Trump’s endorsement last year. While the former president is certain to celebrate the win as his own victory, it also puts him on the same side as top Democratic officials who sought to boost Gibbs in the race.
Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District has become more competitive, giving Democrats a chance at flipping it this year.
The Republican primary attracted the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads highlighting Trump’s endorsement of Gibbs.
It’s a strategy that Democrats have employed in other races as part of an effort to elevate Republican candidates that they believe could have a harder time winning in November.
The spending by the DCCC drew fierce criticism from Meijer, who accused Democrats of ignoring “certain moral limits” in politics.
“If successful, Republican voters will be blamed if any of these candidates are ultimately elected, but there is no doubt Democrats’ fingerprints will be on the weapon,” Meijer wrote in a recent essay posted online.
Of the 10 House members who voted to impeach the former president, four are retiring, one lost a primary and one advanced to the general election. The others are facing voters on Tuesday or later this month.