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A former housing official who served under the Trump administration launched a campaign last week for the U.S. House, entering a race where he will attempt to primary a fellow Republican representing a district in West Michigan.
Republican John Gibbs is running against freshman U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), who voted to impeach President Donald Trump on a charge of inciting insurrection after an unruly mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in January.
At the time, Meijer acknowledged the move “may have been an act of political suicide,” but still defended his actions as “necessary for the good of the country.” He was one of only ten Republicans to join the Democrats pushing impeachment. Since then, Gibbs has been the fourth candidate to announce a primary challenge against Meijer.
“AMERICA FIRST, AMERICA ALWAYS,” tweeted Gibbs on Saturday. “America is much more than just an idea, a creed, or a document. Rather America is her people, and our people are the consciousness of our culture, heritage, language, customs, and faith, which we share in continuity with our forefathers.”
The Detroit News reported, “Gibbs, a Michigan native from Lansing, was nominated last year by former President Donald Trump to serve as director of the Office of Personnel Management, but the Senate never confirmed him to the post.”
After his nomination, CNN had reportedly revealed several controversial social media posts from Gibbs, including tweets from 2016 that referred to some Republicans as “cucks” and accused Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager of participating in a satanic ritual. That Twitter account is currently set to private, meaning only approved followers can view its posts.
Gibbs had spent several years as the acting assistant secretary for community planning and development at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under former Secretary Ben Carson.
Dr. Carson, thank you for the vote of confidence! It was a great honor serving under you and I look forward to keeping up the fight in the US Congress! 🇺🇸🙏🏿✨ https://t.co/fJmUr20ziz
— John Gibbs For MI-03 (@votejohngibbs) November 12, 2021
In a statement issued on Saturday night to the Save America PAC followers, former President Trump called out Rep. Meijer by name, along with other Congressional Republicans.
“Saving America starts by saving the GOP from RINOs, sellouts, and known losers!” wrote Trump.
FOX News reported that Trump mentioned GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and “called for primaries of 11 other representatives in his statement to face primary battles, most of whom voted in favor of the Democrats’ $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on Nov. 5.”
“Any interest from good and SMART America First Republican Patriots to run primary campaigns against Representatives Tom Rice, John Katko, Don Bacon, Don Young, Fred Upton (challenge accepted), Andrew Garbarino, Peter Meijer (challenge accepted), Nancy Mace, Jaime Herrera Beutler (challenge accepted) and Chris Smith?” he reportedly wrote.
“You will have my backing!” Trump continued.
FOX noted that Rep. Meijer was included on Trump’s list despite voting against the infrastructure package.
— Melissa Nann Burke (@nannburke) November 13, 2021
More details from The Detroit News:
Gibbs’ campaign website says he’s been “called, for the sake of our state and our country, to the high purpose of serving my community in Congress, in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional district.”
Michigan is in the middle of redistricting based on the 2020 Census count, so it’s unclear what the contours of the 3rd District might ultimately look like. The existing district includes Ionia, Barry and Calhoun counties along with portions of Kent and Montcalm counties.
Gibbs on his site touts a number of GOP issues such as opposition to abortion, Second Amendment rights and election integrity and also bashes President Joe Biden, using the expression, “Let’s Go Brandon!” — a conservative code phrase meaning “F— Joe Biden.”