December 11, 2023


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Peter Meijer, a Republican who served one time period in Congress earlier than being ousted by voters following a vote to question then-President Donald Trump, introduced Monday that he’ll run for an open U.S. Senate seat in Michigan.

Meijer joins a discipline of greater than a dozen candidates vying for a seat that’s been held by Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow for greater than twenty years. Stabenow shocked many within the state in January by saying her retirement, creating a large open race within the battleground state.

“My spouse and I prayed laborious about this race and the way we are able to greatest serve our state and our nation. We thought-about each side of the marketing campaign, and are assured now we have the very best likelihood of taking again this seat for the Republicans and preventing laborious for a conservative future,” Meijer stated in a press release on X, previously often called Twitter.

“We’re in darkish and unsure occasions, however now we have made it by worse. The challenges are nice, however so is our nation. If we’re to see one other nice American century, we want leaders who aren’t afraid to be daring, will do the work, and might’t be purchased.”

Meijer is an inheritor to a Midwestern grocery retailer empire. His title recognition and fundraising skill immediately make him a high candidate in one of many nation’s best Senate races. He joins former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers and former Detroit Police Chief James Craig within the Republican discipline, whereas the Democratic discipline has been led by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin and consists of actor Hill Harper.

Slotkin introduced her intentions in February, however the Republican discipline had remained comparatively empty till Rogers introduced a marketing campaign in September and Craig did so in October. Slotkin had almost $4 million extra within the financial institution than some other Senate candidate by September, based on marketing campaign finance numbers launched earlier this month.

Meijer, who’s from Grand Rapids, is a former Military reserve officer who served in Iraq. He was seen as a part of the following technology of Republican leaders when he was elected to the U.S. Home in 2020 at solely 32 12 months previous. However a vote to question Trump simply two weeks into Meijer’s first-term made him a right away goal of Trump loyalists.

Meijer was amongst 10 Home Republicans who voted to question Trump in 2021 following the lethal mob siege of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He would go on to lose reelection to a Trump-backed major opponent in 2022 regardless of having a major fundraising benefit.

Questions nonetheless linger about whether or not a average candidate who voted to question Trump can survive a Republican major. Trump received Michigan in 2016, and his endorsed candidates have overwhelmingly received primaries earlier than dropping by extensive margins generally elections.

If Meijer may get previous the GOP major, he seemingly would current a formidable problem to the Democratic nominee. His surname is without doubt one of the most recognizable within the state, and his status as a average Republican may assist in a state that’s trended Democratic in recent times.

Republicans have taken simply one among Michigan’s final 15 Senate, races however the margin of victory for Democrats has shrunk each election since Democratic Sen. Carl Levin received reelection in 2008 by a 29% margin. Democratic Sen. Gary Peters received reelection over GOP challenger John James by lower than 2% in 2020, the closest race in additional than twenty years.

Aided partly by turmoil within the GOP, Democrats received decisive victories in 2022, taking management of each chambers of the state legislature for the primary time in many years and sustaining management of the governor’s workplace. The occasion additionally received almost each aggressive U.S. Home race in Michigan final 12 months.

Defending the Michigan seat may show essential for Democrats of their effort to keep up the Senate, the place the occasion holds a 51-49 majority and likewise faces powerful headwinds as they defend seats in Republican-leaning states from West Virginia to Montana and Ohio.