Trump backs challenger over GOP Rep. Meijer in Michigan

November 16, 2021 GMT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed a primary challenger over first-term U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, who was among 10 Republicans who voted to impeach him for the deadly mob siege of the Capitol.

Trump backed John Gibbs, who was an official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during his administration. Trump in 2020 nominated Gibbs to be director of the Office of Personnel Management. But he was never confirmed due to questions about controversial 2016 tweets, including those that called the Democratic Party the party of “Islam” and “gender-bending” and defended an anti-Semitic Twitter user whom the platform had banned.

“John Gibbs is a fabulous talent who loves the State, our Military, and our Vets,” Trump said in a statement that called Meijer a “RINO.”


Gibbs, who is Black, served on Trump’s 1776 Commission, which aimed to promote “patriotic education” in schools. His campaign website says he helped churches in Japan reach the homeless and worked as a software developer in Silicon Valley. He has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s from Harvard University.

Gibbs is among four Republicans challenging Meijer for his seat in western Michigan. The state’s redistricting commission has yet to finalize congressional districts.