Ex-Congressman Peter Meijer launched an exploratory committee for a possible run for the U.S. Senate on Monday, setting the stage for a heated Michigan primary race.
Meijer, a Army veteran from Grand Rapids, drew national attention during his first congressional term as one of just 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, leading to a visit to the White House by Vice President Mike Pence.
“America needs political leaders who will do what’s right, not what’s easy,” Meijer said in a YouTube video announcing his exploratory committee. “Leaders who are independent, and committed to putting the country and the citizen ahead of politics and party.”
Meijer’s entry into the race is seen as a challenge to the candidacy of Hanna Pine, a former Michigan attorney general who is backed by more traditional conservatives. Other Republicans vying for the seat are Lisa McClain, a business woman and former chairwoman of the Macomb County Republicans.
“I am confident that all of the candidates will bring integrity and commitment to Michigan,” Meijer said in his video.
A former banker and Army reservist, Meijer’s emergence on the political scene began after he won a surprise election victory in 2018, flipping a West Michigan seat formerly held by Justin Amash. During his term as a House Republican, Meijer championed environmental concerns, healthcare, and racial justice.
He also has been part of bipartisan teams tackling national security challenges related to China, North Korea, and Iran.
Meijer’s exploratory committee is designed to help him identify whether he can raise the necessary funds to compete strongly in the upcoming Senate race. The Michigan Republican primary will be held in August.