GOP Reclaims House Seat Vacated by Ex-Republican Amash

November 5, 2020 Updated: November 5, 2020

The Michigan House seat vacated by independent Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.)—who quit the GOP last year and voted to impeach the president—has been reclaimed for the Republicans by Peter Meijer, a 32-year-old Iraq veteran.

The race for Michigan’s 3rd District, which covers the city of Grand Rapids, was called by Decision Desk and The Associated Press for Meijer over his Democrat opponent Hillary Scholten.

Meijer said that Scholten had called to congratulate him on his victory.

“I likewise want to congratulate Hillary on running an incredibly strong and focused campaign,” he wrote in a statement. “We may differ in approach, but we share common ground in wanting to see West Michigan thrive.”

Meijer thanked his supporters and said in a statement that he would work to end endless wars and to “ensure this republic lives up to the promise of our Founders.”

Meijer pitched himself to voters as a “100 percent pro-life” supporter of gun rights, who believes in “limiting the power of the federal government, and that federalism will produce the best solutions for our communities.”

He was born and raised in Grand Rapids, the second-largest city in the state.

Outgoing Rep. Amash said he had called Meijer to congratulate him. “He has my full support as he takes on a new role,” wrote Amash on Twitter. “Let’s welcome him as our next congressman and work to build a great relationship. We’re looking forward to a peaceful transfer of representation.”

Justin Amash
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) listens to a debate on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 12, 2019. (J. Scott Applewhite/ AP Photo)

Amash has been a member of Congress since 2011.

He was the only Republican in Congress to show support for impeaching President Donald Trump. In July 2019 he quit the Republican Party to become an independent, and later joined with Democrats in voting for the impeachment that subsequently died in the Senate.

In quitting the GOP, Amash became only the third independent in Congress at the time, alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Angus King (I-Me.)

Voting in the Michigan seat puts Meijer at around 53 percent and Scholten at around 47 percent in the latest tally on Decision Desk.

In the presidential race, Michigan, which carries 16 electoral votes, has been called for Joe Biden. The latest data shows Biden with 50.57 percent of the vote to 47.88 for Trump.

This article has been updated to correct the information on current Independents in Congress. 

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