John Gibbs defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer in the Republican primary for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District on August 2, 2022.
Meijer, first elected in 2020, was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump (R) following the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Trump endorsed Gibbs in this primary.
In a Candidate Connection survey submitted to Ballotpedia, Gibbs said, “No one else has fought in Washington like I have under President Trump,” and that he would “[reduce] government largess and overreach which threatens civil rights, civil liberties and our way of life.”
The primary received notable satellite spending in its final weeks, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spending $449,854 on ads opposing Gibbs.
Meijer wrote that the ads were, instead, intended to boost support for Gibbs in the primary, calling the spending a “naked political [gambit] aimed at elevating the weaker Republican candidate ahead of the November … elections.”
Gibbs’ campaign did not respond to the DCCC ads but, following the primary, said money did not play a role in the race and that his victory “is an important lesson for the powers that be … to learn they’ve really got to respect what the people want.”
Gibbs will face Hillary Scholten (D) in the general election. Scholten ran against Meijer in 2020, receiving 47% of the vote. The 3rd District’s line changed during redistricting with Michigan Radio’s Nisa Khan and Emma Ruberg describing the district as becoming more Democratic-leaning as a result.
Meijer’s defeat—along with U.S. Rep. Andy Levin’s (D) in Michigan’s 11th District—brings the total number of U.S. House incumbents defeated in primaries to 11 for this cycle. Over the past decade, this is second only to 2012, the most recent post-redistricting cycle, when 13 incumbents lost in primaries.