Peter Meijer drops out of Senate race, citing lack of support - TAI News
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Peter Meijer mingles with supporters in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP, File)

Republican former U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer announced on April 26 that he’s dropping out of the race for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat and withdrawing his name from the primary ballot, citing a lack of support.

“The hard reality is the fundamentals of the race have changed significantly since we launched this campaign,” Meijer said in a statement posted to X. “Without a strong pathway to victory, continuing this campaign only increases the likelihood of a divisive primary that would distract from the essential goal — conservative victories in November.”

Meijer had announced in November that he was running for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. His announcement came a year after he lost his race for reelection to the U.S. House in a GOP primary after he voted to impeach former President Donald Trump on charges that he instigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

“My wife and I prayed hard about this race and how we can best serve our state and our nation,” Meijer said in a statement in November. “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.”

Meijer tried to walk back his past criticism of Trump after entering the Senate race, saying he would vote for him again in 2024 if Trump were the nominee. 

However, national Republicans opposed Meijer’s bid.

Jason Thielman, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the Senate, told Politico after Meijer announced his candidacy, “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.” 

Trump endorsed former Rep. Mike Rogers in the Republican primary, leaving Meijer unable to mount a strong candidacy.

Meijer had raised $650,000 since launching his bid, and had just $244,000 in the bank as of March 31, according to records filed with the Federal Elections Commission — not nearly enough to run a competitive statewide campaign. Rogers, meanwhile, had raised $2.9 million since last July, and ended March with $1.38 million in his coffers, according to FEC filings.

A third former Republican congressman, Justin Amash, is also running in the GOP primary. Amash voted to impeach Trump in 2019 on charges that included withholding military aid to Ukraine to force the country’s leaders to announce investigations into his opponent in the 2016 presidential campaign, Joe Biden. Amash, who left the Republican Party in 2019 to become an independent over his opposition to Trump, retired from the House in 2020. Amash has raised $478,000 since entering the race, and has $740,000 in the bank, according to FEC records.

However, all of the Republicans’ fundraising hauls are dwarfed by those of the Democratic front-runner, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who has raised $16 million since February 2023 and ended March with more than $8.6 million in the bank, according to her FEC filings. 

Michigan’s Senate race will be one of the most competitive on the map in November. Trump won the state by just 0.3 points in 2016, while President Joe Biden won it by nearly 3 points in 2020. 

Inside Elections, the nonpartisan political analysis outlet, rates the race Tilt Democratic

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