State of suspense
POLITICS | Former Rep. Peter Meijer’s U.S. Senate bid ratchets up political drama in Michigan
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Former U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer enjoys one of the most recognizable names in Michigan. Heir to a Midwest grocery superstore chain, Meijer is now using his name recognition—and his family’s old store logo—to run for the U.S. Senate. But winning the Republican nomination in his home state may not come easy.
Meijer, 35, is a former Army Reserve officer who was elected to Congress in 2020. The following year, he became one of 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Afterward, Meijer lost his reelection primary to Trump-endorsed candidate John Gibbs. (Democrat Hillary Scholten handily beat Gibbs and won the seat in 2022.) Meijer has blamed both Trump and increasing polarization for his loss.
Now, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s retirement could open the door for Republicans to flip a longtime Democratic seat. GOP strategists say Meijer “isn’t viable” as a candidate, but Meijer insists he can bring a conservative win. “If we are to see another great American century, we need leaders who aren’t afraid to be bold, will do the work, and can’t be bought,” his Nov. 6 campaign announcement said.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee convinced former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers to run earlier this year. Along with Meijer and Rogers, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and several other candidates will compete in what could become a heated Republican primary.
Pro-abortion judge wins in Pennsylvania
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania will preserve a 5-2 liberal majority thanks to Democrat Dan McCaffery’s election win on Nov. 7. In a race that became a referendum on abortion, McCaffery, a Superior Court judge and former Philadelphia prosecutor, squared off against Carolyn Carluccio, a Republican and Montgomery County judge.
Planned Parenthood Votes mobilized support for McCaffery, who promised to uphold the state’s permissive abortion laws. Carluccio was endorsed by pro-life groups, but she avoided emphasizing the abortion issue while campaigning. McCaffery ultimately prevailed with 53 percent of the vote.
Pennsylvania is one of eight states that elect Supreme Court justices through partisan elections. While turnout for off-year elections is typically low, spending in the Keystone State’s judicial race surged, reaching $16.5 million in ads alone. —C.L.
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