Peter Meijier of Michigan, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump over the Capitol attack, will not return to Congress next year.
Meijer lost his primary on Tuesday to a Trump-backed election denier – while Trump supporters and election deniers won primaries across the country.
Meijer, a first-term congressman, was beaten by John Gibbs. In a statement, Meijer said: “I’m proud to have remained true to my principles, even when doing so came at a significant political cost.”
He published angrier words on Monday, lambasting Democrats who spent campaign dollars in support of Gibbs, seeing him as beatable in the midterms in November.
In an online essay, Meijer said: “The Democrats are justifying this political jiu-jitsu by making the argument that politics is a tough business. I don’t disagree.
“But that toughness is bound by certain moral limits: those who participated in the attack on the Capitol, for example, clearly fall outside those limits. But over the course of the midterms, Democrats seem to have forgotten just where those limits lie.”
Republican voters, Meijer added, “will be blamed if any of these candidates are ultimately elected, but there is no doubt Democrats’ fingerprints will be on the weapon. We should never forget it.”
Gibbs has repeated Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election and claimed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chair participated in a satanic ritual involving bodily fluids.
Meijer is the second of the 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment to lose his seat, after Tom Rice of South Carolina, beaten by a Trump-backed challenger in June.
Four others, including Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a prominent member of the House January 6 committee, opted to retire rather than face voters.
David Valadao of California has survived. On Tuesday, the Washington state representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse seemed set to join Valadao in fighting the November election. They led Trump-backed challengers but as Washington state conducts elections by mail, full results were not known.
Herrera Beutler’s challengers include Joe Kent, a former Green Beret with links to rightwing extremists who employs an aide who was a member of the Proud Boys. Newhouse’s opponents include Loren Culp, a former gubernatorial nominee who falsely claimed his 13-point loss to Jay Inslee in 2020 was the result of voter fraud.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, supporters of Trump’s lie about electoral fraud did well.
In Arizona, a swing state, the US Senate candidate Blake Masters, whose campaign was bankrolled by the tech investor Peter Thiel, won his primary after echoing Trump’s lies and playing up cultural grievances including critical race theory and supposed big tech censorship.
He will face the former astronaut Mark Kelly for a seat that could decide control of the Senate.
In the race for Arizona secretary of state, a post that overseees the conduct of elections, Mark Finchem, a state lawmaker who worked to overturn Trump’s 2020 defeat in Arizona, won his primary.
In the Arizona legislature, the House speaker, Rusty Bowers, who testified at a January 6 hearing about Trump’s pressure to overturn the 2020 election, lost his primary for a state senate seat to a Trump-backed candidate, David Farnsworth.
The possible exception to Trump’s streak of wins was the gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who has been trailing Karrin Taylor Robson, a candidate endorsed by Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence. Election-day and late mail ballots are still being counted.
Meijer’s state, Michigan, also saw a Trump-backed candidate win the Republican primary for governor. Tudor Dixon, a conservative media personality, will face the Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, in November.
Dixon’s past as an actor in low-budget horror movies – with titles such as Buddy BeBop Vs the Living Dead – became a campaign issue.
In Missouri, Republican voters who Trump said should vote for “Eric” made their choice between three Erics in their US Senate primary, backing the state attorney general, Eric Schmitt, over the former governor Eric Greitens, who resigned in disgrace in 2018.
Democrats nominated a beer heiress, Trudy Busch Valentine, over the populist Lucas Kunce.