Former Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer Jumps In Race For Retiring Dem Sen. Stabenow’s Seat
UNITED STATES - JULY 21: Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., is interviewed by CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images in his Longworth Building office on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Former Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, announced Monday he is running for retiring Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s seat in Michigan. 

In his announcement, Meijer said he stands as Republicans’ “best chance” for taking control of the seat and “fighting hard for a conservative future.” He is an heir of the Michigan-based grocery store chain of the same name.

“My wife and I prayed hard about this race and how we can best serve our state and our nation,” Meijer said. “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,” the former congressman continued. “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 becomes the third high-profile candidate to jump into the race on the GOP side, joining former Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and former Detroit Police Chief James Craig in the race to be the Republican nominee for the open Senate seat.

He was born and raised in Grand Rapids and attended West Point before enlisting in the Army Reserve and serving during the Iraq War as an intelligence adviser. During his time in Congress, Meijer served on the Committee on Homeland Security, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. 

Meijer was one of the 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Trump following the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. He was then primaried in 2022 by Trump-backed candidate John Gibbs, who beat Meijer by nearly 4,000 votes. Gibbs would go on to lose to Democrat Hillary Scholten by more than 40,000 votes in the general election. Meijer slammed Democrats for meddling in his primary as Democrat groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to boost Gibbs’ campaign, believing he would be easier to beat in the general election. 

While the 35-year-old Meijer boasted an A rating from the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America organization for his consistent support of protecting the unborn, his voting record on other issues aligned with President Joe Biden and the Democrats more than most Republicans. During his one term in office from 2021-2023, Meijer voted in line with Biden 39% of the time, making him one of the most moderate Republicans in the House, according to FiveThirtyEight. 

National Republican Senatorial Committee Executive Director Jason Thielman wasn’t enthused with Meijer’s entrance into the race. 


“Peter 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,” he told POLITICO.

Both of Michigan’s U.S. Senate seats have been in the Democrats’ control since 2001 when Stabenow was first elected. The 73-year-old senator’s upcoming retirement opens up an important battleground election as Republicans attempt to gain control of the Senate, and Democrats face a bevy of challenges in the 2024 election. 

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