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Ex-congressman Peter Meijer launches exploratory committee for Senate run

Former congressman Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) is taking a step toward a potential run for Michigan’s open seat in the U.S. Senate, joining a growing number of people running or considering a campaign in the battleground race.

An IRS filing from a “Meijer for Senate Exploratory Committee” was submitted Tuesday, saying the purpose of the organization is to “Test the waters for a potential candidacy for US Senate.”

Meijer on Thursday confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that he had formed an exploratory committee, saying, “I am honored by the many Michigan conservatives who are encouraging me to run.”

“Winning in 2024 is the only way we can stop Biden’s ruinous economic policies and mass weaponization of government,” he told the Free Press. “It will take someone who can’t be bought and is willing to be bold, and I am considering running for Senate to do my part to get us out of this mess.”

Meijer did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.

Meijer, whose family founded the Meijer supermarket chain, is a business analyst and former U.S. Army reservist who served one term in the House of Representatives. He was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump in 2021. Meijer was defeated in his 2022 GOP primary by John Gibbs — a former Trump administration official who ran with the ex-president’s support and embraced his false claims of a stolen election. Gibbs was defeated in the general election by Hillary J. Scholten (D).

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) announced in January that she intends to retire from the Senate.

A Republican hasn’t won a Senate race in the state in decades. But with Meijer now testing the waters, there are at least two moderate Republicans with some name recognition in the state considering a run for Stabenow’s seat. Former congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee and is seen as a moderate in the party, is expected to announce his bid for Stabenow’s seat soon.

Other Republicans who have entered the race include State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder, former Berrien County commissioner Ezra Scott, lawyer Alexandria Taylor and business executive Michael Hoover. Former Detroit police chief James Craig and New York Stock Exchange executive John Tuttle are also said to be considering joining the GOP field.

Among Democrats, moderate Rep. Elissa Slotkin (Mich.) has been considered an early front-runner in the nomination race after announcing her candidacy for the Senate seat in February.

The former CIA analyst is seen by many top Democrats as a formidable contender with a proven record of winning in competitive House districts. She won her first election in 2018, motivated like many women that year to seek office in repudiation of Trump. She has positioned herself as a moderate, rejecting positions and rhetoric adopted by the far left while championing Democratic principles such as abortion rights and a ban on assault weapons.

Other Democratic primary candidates include “The Good Doctor” actor Hill Harper, business executive Nasser Beydoun, lawyer Zack Burns, former state representative Leslie Love and Michigan State Board of Education President Pamela Pugh.

Colby Itkowitz and John Wagner contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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