Former Trump aide John Gibbs narrowly defeated Rep. Peter Major on Tuesday night, ending the freshman lawmaker’s short tenure in Washington that began with a vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Gibbs was chosen by Trump to challenge Major over that decision and to certify the election, both after the former president incited a mob to attack the US Capitol in an ill-fated plan to overturn his election results 2020.
Gibbs, who worked at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Trump administration, has made the idea that the election was stolen by Trump a cornerstone of his campaign and even indicated that he might not accept the results of his own race if was not successful.
“That remains to be seen,” he said when asked about accepting a local news station’s vote count in the final weeks of the primary campaign.
Gibbs is no stranger to misinformation.
When he was nominated to become director of the Office of Personnel Management while serving at HUD, he was questioned by senators about tweets, discovered by CNN, in which he repeatedly referred to QAnon’s belief that Democrats engaged in satanic rituals. At the time, Gibbs attributed the tweets to his role as a commentator, “that’s behind me, that’s not my current role.”
It was never confirmed.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, hoping that Gibbs might be easier to beat in the new district, poured $400,000 into the race with an ad calling Gibbs “too conservative” for Michigan. The game was quickly criticized by fellow House Democrats and Meijer himself.
Meijer, for his part, was clear about his re-election chances shortly after deciding to stand up to the former president.
“This may have been active political suicide, but I know I can look myself in the mirror because I voted my conscience here,” he said. The Detroit News.
Shortly before the race was declared in favor of Gibbs early Wednesday, Meijer said in a statement: “A Constitutional Democracy like ours requires leaders who are willing to take on big challenges, find common ground when possible and show love them for country before party advantage. While this was not the outcome we hoped for, I will continue to do everything possible to lead the Republican Party, West Michigan and our country in a positive direction.”