Trump-endorsed Gibbs talks GOP primary race

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Posted at 10:39 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 03:47:52-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — John Gibbs doesn’t have the name recognition like the man he’s running against, but he has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump in part because incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) voted to impeach Trump after the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Since leaving office, Trump has endorsed candidates running in primaries against a group of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him.

“I'm sure he's a very good person, but I think politically when he made that decision, he had to accept the consequences that came with it. And I think this is one of those consequences of voters in his district, are very, very upset about it,” Gibbs says of Meijer.

Gibbs, a self-proclaimed computer geek, worked under the Trump administration as an official in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was also nominated by Trump to direct the Office of Personnel Management but was never confirmed by the U.S. Senate and faced criticism over a series of controversial social media posts.

“With my experience in D.C. as well as my local connections here. I think that's a great combination of knowing what it takes when I get over to D.C. as well as knowing what it takes here to really connect with and represent folks,” Gibbs added.

When he joined the race last fall, Gibbs who grew up near Lansing, was accused of being a carpetbagger by fellow GOP candidate Tom Norton, who has since announced a run in a different district.

“I'm not a carpetbagger,” Gibbs says. “I live here in the district; I live in Byron Center. I was born and raised and Lansing, 10 minutes away from the boundary of the third district so we're not talking about coming from far away or anything,” he added. Saying he’s lived in Byron Center since leaving DC. last fall.

Gibbs thinks he can compete in the newly drawn 3rd congressional district, which encompasses Grand Rapids and stretches to the lakeshore up to and including Muskegon.

Under his website’s “campaign issues” tab, he echoes the former president in calling for a full forensic audit of the 2020 election and says spending in Washington is out of control.

“My pitch is results, results, results,” says Gibbs. “There's so much going on in the world right now. There's political stuff left and right, flying back and forth, we need to get the gas prices down. We need to get rid of inflation, we need to bring prices where your groceries down, we need to get the shelf stock back up again. We need wages to go up. We need unemployment to go down. We need to be stopped being embarrassed on the international stage.”

Gibbs is one of three declared candidates running against Meijer in the GOP primary, including MAGA activist Audra Johnson and lawyer Gabriella Manolache. Meijer has a commanding lead in fundraising.

“I’m running on my record as a proven conservative committed to upholding the Constitution I swore an oath to — full stop," Meijer said in a statement. "The strong support our campaign for re-election in the Third District has received so far has come overwhelmingly from West Michigan. I am honored to have such robust momentum this early in the cycle, and I will continue working towards a brighter future for the Republican Party and our country. West Michiganders deserve a representative who upholds their values, focuses on addressing critical issues, and ultimately delivers results. I hope to continue this important work on their behalf.”