The latest on the Aug. 2 primaries in Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, and Washington.
Challenger Defeats Michigan Incumbent Who Voted to Impeach Trump in Republican Congressional Primary
Republican John Gibbs on Aug. 3 defeated Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary.
Meijer was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump. Trump endorsed Gibbs for the GOP nomination.
With 75 percent of the votes reported at 12:24 a.m. on Aug. 3, Gibbs received 51.9 percent of the vote while Meijer registered 48 percent, according to Decision Desk HQ.
Gibbs will face Democrat Hillary Scholten in November’s general election in a newly drawn 3rd District that once favored Republicans but is now friendlier to Democrats.
Schmitt Wins Hotly Contested US Senate Primary in Missouri
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt won the Republican Senate primary race on Aug. 2, bringing the expensive, hard-fought race to a conclusion.
Polls closed in the race at 7 p.m. CST. Decision Desk HQ called the race for Schmitt roughly an hour later.
The contest kicked off after incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) announced in 2021 that he would not be seeking reelection in 2022.
The race was shaken up by former President Trump’s last-minute, Aug. 1 endorsement, in which he pledged his support to “Eric.”
Two of the top contenders in the race are named Eric: Schmitt and former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
In November, Schmitt will face Anheuser-Busch beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine, who defeated Marine veteran Lucas Kunce and nine others in the Democratic primary. Both also face a challenge from a well-funded independent, John Wood, who has the financial backing of former Sen. John Danforth.
Trump Nod Spurs Dixon to Runaway Win in Michigan GOP Gubernatorial Primary
Tudor Dixon, a former steel sales manager and conservative commentator, parlayed a late-campaign endorsement from former President Donald Trump into a runaway win in Michigan’s Aug. 2 Republican gubernatorial primary.
Dixon will challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who did not face a primary test and has raised nearly $30 million since her first election in 2018. Dixon enters the three-month run to November having raised $1.2 million and spending $2.3 million.
Dixon, a first-time political candidate, emerged from a field of five contestants—down from an original 10—to score twice the votes second-place Kevin Rinke had collected to be declared the winner about an hour after polls closed.
With more than 439,689 votes counted—about 34 percent of the turnout—Dixon had 40 percent of the tally, Rinke 20.9 percent, chiropractor Garrett Soldano 19.3 percent, businessman Ryan Kelley 15.7 percent, and Oakland County pastor Ralph Rebandt 4.2 percent.
Kansas Primaries: Kelly-Schmidt Governor Race, Davids-Adkins CD 3 Clash Set for November
The ‘Value Them Both’ abortion ballot proposition was the dominant issue on Kansas’ otherwise bland Aug. 2 primary ballot, which offered few competitive inter-party races but cleared the decks for several compelling clashes in fall’s general election.
Most notable among the general election contests is the already underway toss-up brawl between incumbent Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and her Republican challenger, Kansas attorney general Derek Schmidt.
Both blew past nominal opposition in slam-dunk Aug. 2 primary victories and have millions to spend in what is projected to be among the nation’s most compelling governor elections of the 2022 midterms.
The Kelly-Schmidt race is one of 36 gubernatorial elections nationwide this fall. Kelly is among 22 Democratic governors seeking re-election but the only trying to do so in a state that former President Donald Trump won in 2020, garnering 56 percent of the vote.
Kelly and incumbent Lt. Gov. David Toland, who also serves as Kansas secretary of commerce, easily cruised past former Republican and “anti-abortion Democrat” Richard Karnowski of Seneca and his Lt. Gov. hopeful, Barry Franco, in their Democratic primary.
Ballot Measure Nixing Right to Abortion in Kansas Fails
The majority of Kansas voters disapproved of a ballot measure that proclaims there is no right to abortion under the state’s Constitution in an Aug. 2 special election that drew intense interest as the nation’s first public referendum on abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the Roe vs. Wade decision in June.
According to unofficial results from the Kansas Secretary of State’s office, the hotly contested ‘Value Them Both’ amendment garnered 65 percent “no” votes as of 10:10 p.m. ET on Aug. 2. Decision Desk HQ projected that the measure will not pass at 9:47 p.m. ET.
The controversial proposed constitutional amendment generated more than $13 million in campaign spending by proponents and opponents and dramatically boosted turnout for a primary ballot that otherwise featured few competitive races.
Adoption of the measure is the culmination of years of lobbying by Kansas Right-to-Life organizations, which were dealt a blow in 2019 when the state’s Supreme Court overturned the 2015 “Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.”
At Schmitt Gathering, Former US Attorney Under Trump Explains His Support
ST. LOUIS, Mo.—Jeffrey Jensen, who served as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri under President Trump, explained his support for Eric Schmitt at what could prove to be the Schmitt victory party at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel.
“He [Schmitt] was able to give prosecutors to my office, and that helped us tremendously because we were able to get to violent criminals more quickly. And I think that helped reduce the crime rate over what it might have otherwise been,” Jensen told The Epoch Times on Aug. 2.
“I don’t know Eric Greitens, but I know Eric Schmitt,” he said, adding that he did not closely follow Trump’s ambiguous endorsement of “Eric” on Aug. 1.
Trump Endorsee Gibbs Casts Ballot in Primary in Battleground Michigan District
BYRON CENTER, Mich.—Standing outside a community center near his home in Byron Center, John Gibbs talked to reporters before casting his vote in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary on August 2.
Gibbs is endorsed by former president Donald Trump. His opponent, first-term Rep. Peter Meijer, was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the U.S. Capitol breech on Jan. 6, 2021.
“November is not about Democrats versus Republicans,” Gibbs said. “It’s about crazy versus normal, and I’m normal.”
Meijer has raised 10 times more money than Gibbs, and he has spent $2.1 million on the campaign compared to Gibbs’ $340,000 as of mid-July.
Meijer was in the news on August 1 when he blamed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for funding a $435,000 ad that appears to attack Gibbs, calling him “too conservative for west Michigan” and reminding viewers of his ties to Trump.
Critics of the ad buy, including Meijer, claim that it provided airtime for a campaign that has not had the money to elevate its name recognition on television in the Grand Rapids market.
Meijer wrote that it would seem like “the Democrats would look at John Gibbs and see the embodiment of what they say they most fear. That as patriots, they would use every tool at their disposal to defeat him and similar candidates that they’ve said are an existential threat. Instead, they are funding Gibbs.”
Gibbs told The Epoch Times that “he (Meijer) is making excuses and finding people to blame for when he loses.”
Meijer is “unelectable in November,” Gibbs believes, because the freshman legislator voted to impeach Trump and also “voted for the gun control bill.”
“Those are just two reasons why many Republicans would not support him in November,” Gibbs said.
Endorsed by Trump, Gibbs was a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official during the Trump administration.
He was appointed by Trump to lead the Office of Personnel Management but was not confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Trump also appointed Gibbs to the 1776 Commission.
A Lansing, Michigan native, Gibbs holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stanford University and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. He spent seven years in Japan as a missionary and is fluent in Japanese. He worked in Silicon Valley as a software engineer before his role with the housing department.
“I’m glad to have President Trump’s endorsement, but I’m me. I’m John Gibbs, and I think people appreciate my story and my background,” Gibbs told The Epoch Times.
“I appeal to conservatives, independents, and even some Democrats, because we are all impacted by gas prices, inflation, and a cost of living that has escalated because of out-of-control spending in Congress,” he added.
Trump Endorsee Greitens Casts Ballot in Primary in Battleground Michigan District
CHESTERFIELD, Mo.—At an Aug 1. rally at Spirit of St. Louis Airport, former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens told reporters that former President Trump’s stated support for “Eric” in the Republican Senate primary was “incredibly clear.”
“I think that the message was incredibly clear—that President Trump is endorsing Eric Greitens because I’m the MAGA champion in this race,” Greitens said.
Greitens’ opponents in the Aug. 2 primary include Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who also accepted Trump’s comment as an endorsement.
Greitens told reporters Trump had “blasted” Schmitt’s campaign the previous night—a reference to a Truth Social post from Trump that linked to a Breitbart article on polling tied to Schmitt.
The Epoch Times asked Greitens if he’s saying Schmitt is lying when Schmitt claims the endorsement too.
“I think it’s incredibly clear—if you ask Donald Trump, Jr., for example,” he answered, drawing applause from a crowd of supporters.
Greitens’ high-profile backers include Trump, Jr. and Trump, Jr.’s fiancée, Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Politico reported that Trump’s backing of the two Erics was influenced in part by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who reportedly met with Trump to argue he should stay neutral in the race.
Attendees of the Aug. 1 event for Greitens were divided on the meaning of Trump’s message.
“Is it Donald Trump being a jester?” asked Dustin Hill, a candidate in the Republican primary for Missouri’s Third District.
“I think everybody, especially in Missouri, is ready for these primaries to be done, and ready to take a breather,” he added.
“I think he’s toying with people because he has to do that—and I also think that he’s probably going to come out and back Greitens, but I don’t know that he’s going to 100 percent do it before [the results],” said one woman in the crowd, who said she was fifty-fifty on supporting either Greitens or Schmitt.
“I think there’s mass confusion right now,” said Lizzie Sparks, who was with the Greitens campaign.
Meijer, a Republican Opposed by Trump, Casts Ballot in Michigan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Accompanied by his wife and other family members, Rep. Peter Meijer cast his vote in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary. Or he attempted to do so, at least.
With a contingent of TV cameras and reporters standing nearby, a poll worker stood with Meijer as he inserted his ballot into the machine. It kept getting returned, and the poll worker said there was a paper jam.
A few minutes later, poll workers resolved the problem. Meijer placed his ballot in the machine once again, and this time it was accepted. He smiled and high-fived an exasperated poll worker.
Moments later, Meijer and his family stood in front of reporters outside the precinct at Forest Hills Baptist Church in Grand Rapids.
Meijer, who is completing his first term, was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump over the U.S. Capitol breech on Jan. 6, 2021. His challenger, John Gibbs, is endorsed by Trump.
“This is my first re-election and it’s in a new district,” Meijer said. “We feel confident that we will win today
“It’s been a long road, and this is just the first step,” he added. “After today, we will have to win in the general election in a new district that leans Democrat.”
Meijer talked about the homes he has visited across the district while meeting voters face-to-face and admitted that some residents questioned his vote to impeach Trump.
“Some folks have said they didn’t like that vote, but they don’t want the seat go to a Democrat,” Meijer said. “And they said they have liked many of my other decisions.”
Meijer said he has watched some of the January 6 Committee hearings but that “it is difficult to watch it in-depth traveling back and forth from D.C. and being in a campaign.”
“It is important to hear the discussions and have questions answered,” Meijer said.
Meijer and his supporters will gather at 8 p.m. for a watch party at Social House Kitchen & Bar in Grand Rapids.
Polls are open in Michigan until 8 p.m.
Ivan Pentchoukov, Jeff Louderback, John Haughey, and Nathan Worcester contributed to this report.