Democrats meddle in Rep. Meijer’s Michigan House District race: NPR


Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., speaks during a panel discussion at the Capitol on August 30, 2021.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP


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J. Scott Applewhite/AP


Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., speaks during a panel discussion at the Capitol on August 30, 2021.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A National Democratic group is spending money in a Republican primary in Michigan, the latest example of the party’s controversial moves to elevate far-right GOP candidates who Democrats say would be easier to beat in the fall.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released on Monday a new tv ad about John Gibbs, a Republican who is seeking to oust Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, one of only 10 House GOP members who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the Capitol uprising. Trump endorsed Gibbs.

The DCCC announcement says Gibbs, who has no basis interrogates the 2020 presidential election results, was “handpicked by Trump to run for Congress,” adding that Gibbs is “too conservative for West Michigan.”

On the face of it, the ad is therefore framed as an attack, but its message about Trump would likely appeal to Republican primary voters. As Politico notesthe spot “will also increase the identity of the Gibbs name in the district, especially since Gibbs’ campaign has been unable to air its own television commercials”.

The DCCC, which is focused on maintaining its slim majority in the House, declined to comment.

Meijer’s Grand Rapids neighborhood, which tilted left following a redistricting, is considered a draw by the Bake the political reportit is therefore a prime target for the Democrats.

“The DCCC’s support of John Gibbs is clear evidence of who [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi’s favorite in this race,” Meijer spokeswoman Emily Taylor said in a statement. “We’re confident voters will see through the Democrats’ political games while Peter remains focused on the issues that matter most. for the people he represents.”

Part of a larger trend

The spending in Michigan, which holds its primaries on Tuesday, is not the first time Democratic groups have interfered in Republican primaries this year.

In California, a Democratic super PAC finance a television commercial criticizing Rep. David Valadao’s GOP good faith. Valadao, another of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, finished just ahead of a far-right challenger in the June primary.

Democrats have taken similar action in places such as Colorado, Maryland and Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, who was the subject of advertisements paid for by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, is now the GOP nominee himself.

Some Democrats have criticized the high-risk, high-reward strategy, particularly when the party promotes candidates seen as a threat to democracy.

β€œIt has to be done very carefully,” said Claire McCaskill, a former Democratic senator from Missouri. told NPR last month. In 2012, McCaskill’s re-election campaign spent $1.7 million on ads during the GOP primary to highlight Todd Akin’s conservative credentials. McCaskill went on to defeat Akin in the general election.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger β€” another of the House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, and now one of two GOP members of the select committee investigating the Capitol attack β€” lambasted the measures on Tuesday.

“It’s disgusting,” he told CNN Tuesday morning. “You’re going to win the election deniers [in November]. So while I think a number of Democrats really understand that democracy is under threat, don’t come to me after you’ve spent money supporting a Holocaust denier in a primary and then come and say, ‘Where are all the good Republicans?” ‘ ”

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