Two primary races had their answer early on primary election night, while the race that drew most attention across the state and nation required more time to settle over night.
In a battle to challenge Republican turned Independent turned Libertarian party congressman Justin Amash for his 3rd District house seat, Peter Meijer overcame state representative veteran Lynn Afendoulis.
Meijer, a veteran and member of the affluent Meijer family in West Michigan, announced his candidacy immediately following Amash’s decision to split with the GOP ticket. The bid was an apparent answer to Amash’s centrist track of governance, which has challenged both sides of the aisle on policy and excess. The role has often left him playing the foil in a lane that has brought him a cult following, but a lot of political rivals along the way.
Meijer’s announcement was a clear shot across the bow that sought to capitalize on discontent among GOP Trump loyalists and supporters who have grown weary of Amash’s criticisms of the president. He will no doubt try to amplify that chorus between now and November in a race that is sure to draw national attention and forecast the political climate in West Michigan.
Meanwhile, across the state, incumbent Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan’s 13th district had to wait until the next day for confirmation, thanks in part to the historically large numbers of ballots being cast by mail. The race showcased the challenges sure to be found this November, as well as some unique factors that may come into play with this season’s demographic turnout.
Tlaib bested longtime Detroit councilwoman, Brenda Jones, in a rematch of 2018. Unlike that race, this year pitted the two in a one-on-one matchup.
Political aficionados and twitter activists watched this race from across the nation. Tlaib has made a name for herself nationally in her inaugural term, even if at times for notorious reasons. She famously screamed to “Impeach the mother f——-!” in front of a raucous crowd of supporters and underwent an inquiry into potential ethics violations during her 2018 campaign. That inquiry ended this week after the investigation, dating to fall of 2019, concluded. The house ordered Tlaib to pay back over ten thousand dollars she had withdrawn from the campaign coffers for personal, but stopped short of leveling the congresswoman with any official indictment.
Whether in spite of these news items or perhaps because of the national recognition she has received from them, Tlaib walked away with a solid victory and will likely make her way back to the halls of congress for a second term this November.