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NEW YORK (AP) — Michigan Republican Rep. Peter Meijer lost Tuesday to a primary challenger backed by former President Donald Trump as he and two other Republican U.S. House members who voted to impeach Trump fought to hang onto their seats.
WATCH: Death threats, primary challenge followed Rep. Meijer’s vote to impeach Trump after Jan. 6
“A Constitutional Republic like ours requires leaders who are willing to take on the big challenges, to find common ground when possible, and to put their love of country before partisan advantage,” Meijer said in a statement before The Associated Press called the race for his challenger, John Gibbs. “Though this was not the outcome we hoped for, I will continue to do everything possible to move the Republican Party, West Michigan, and our country in a positive direction.”
Meijer is an heir to a Midwestern grocery store empire and a former Army reserve officer who served in Iraq. Gibbs is a former Trump administration official.
“I’m proud to have remained true to my principles, even when doing so came at a significant political cost,” Meijer said.
In addition to having Trump’s endorsement, Gibbs also shared Trump’s penchant for conspiracy theories: He parroted Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election and once spread false claims that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chair participated in a satanic ritual that involved bodily fluids.
Meijer is the second of the 10 impeachment-supporting Republicans to lose his primary, joining South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice, who was defeated by a Trump-backed challenger in June. Four others opted to retire rather than face voters’ wrath. And so far, only California Rep. David Valadao has survived — just barely.
The primaries for the other two House Republicans who voted for impeachment, Washington state Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse, were too early to call Wednesday morning. The three races were the biggest test yet for GOP incumbents who broke with Trump after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a bid to keep him in power on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump has vowed revenge against the 10 House Republicans who crossed party lines for the impeachment vote, and he endorsed GOP challengers to them in the midterm elections.
In other races, Rep. Haley Stevens ousted Rep. Andy Levin from Congress after prevailing in their Democratic primary in Michigan. Democratic Missouri Rep. Cori Bush and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, both members of the progressive “Squad” in Congress, sailed through their primary elections. In Arizona, a leading figure in the QAnon conspiracy movement was badly trailing in his Republican primary.
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