Peter Meijer

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Peter Meijer
Rep. Peter Meijer official photo 117th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Preceded byJustin Amash
Personal details
Born
Peter James Meijer

(1988-01-10) January 10, 1988 (age 33)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Gabriella Zacarias
(m. 2016)
[1]
FatherHank Meijer
RelativesFrederik Meijer (grandfather)
Doug Meijer (uncle)
EducationColumbia University (BA)
New York University (MBA)
WebsiteCampaign website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service U.S. Army Reserve
Years of service2008–2016
RankSergeant[2]
Unit325th Military Intelligence Battalion[3]
Battles/warsIraq War

Peter James Meijer (/ˈm.ər/; born January 10, 1988) is an American politician and business analyst serving as the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 3rd congressional district since 2021.[4] A member of the Republican Party, his district covers Grand Rapids and Battle Creek. He is a member of the Meijer family, the owners of the Meijer superstore chain.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Meijer was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the oldest son of Hank Meijer and the grandson of supermarket chain founder Frederik Meijer, whose parents emigrated to the U.S.A. from the Netherlands.[5][6] His family has been recognized as one of the wealthiest in the state of Michigan by Forbes, with a net worth above $6 billion.[6] His financial disclosures list in excess of $50 million in assets, primarily from a Meijer family trust.[7]

Meijer graduated from East Grand Rapids High School in 2006.[8] He initially studied for one year at the United States Military Academy at West Point before transferring to Columbia University in 2008, graduating with a bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology in 2012.[6][9] At Columbia, he was an advocate for reinstating the Reserve Officers' Training Corps on campus.[10] From 2008 to 2016, Meijer served in the United States Army Reserve and was deployed to Iraq from 2010 into 2011, serving as an intelligence advisor.[6][9][11]

In 2017, Meijer graduated from the New York University Stern School of Business with a Master of Business Administration.[6]

Career[edit]

Analyst career[edit]

From 2013 to 2015, Meijer worked as a conflict analyst for an international NGO.[6] He was later employed by Olympia Development of Michigan of Ilitch Holdings as an analyst from April 2018 to January 2019.[6] During this time, Meijer also worked on veterans projects such as Project Rubicon, was on the advisory board of the With Honor super political action committee, and assisted with urban renewal projects throughout Michigan.[9]

ArtPrize drag show dispute[edit]

During the ArtPrize's Project 1 dynamic art festival in 2019, Meijer refused to host Drag Syndrome, a London-based group that hosted drag performers with Down syndrome, at the Tanglefoot art venue, a property he owned.[5] Meijer said he had consulted various groups and that he believed that the performers were being exploited, stating to ArtPrize organizers that "[t]he involvement of individuals whose ability to act of their own volition is unclear raises serious ethical concerns that I cannot reconcile" and that the performances were to "further an activist message."[5]

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a civil rights complaint to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, claiming that Meijer discriminated against the "disability of the performer and the nature of their performance due to stereotypes regarding gender expression."[12] Meijer said he would not "stop or apologize for doing what is right."[12]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2020 election[edit]

Following Justin Amash's departure from the Republican Party in July 2019, Meijer announced his candidacy for Michigan's 3rd congressional district, competing in the Republican primary. Meijer voiced his support for President Donald Trump, saying he would work with the president to "make sure that we advance policies and an agenda that is in the best interest of West Michigan."[6] In his primary campaign, Meijer received funding from several wealthy Michigan-based business families and outraised the other Republican candidates.[13]

The DeVos and Van Andel families, who co-founded Amway, contributed to Meijer's campaign, though United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick DeVos abstained from fundraising efforts.[13] Mark J. Bissell of Bissell home-care products and the late businessman Peter Secchia also provided funds for Meijer's campaign.[13] Vice President Mike Pence, Representative Dan Crenshaw,[14] House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy,[15] Representative Steve Scalise,[16] and Senator Tom Cotton endorsed Meijer.[17] Meijer defeated Lynn Afendoulis in the August 4 primary election. Following his victory in the August primary, Meijer competed against Hillary Scholten in the general election.[18] Meijer raised $2.7 million during the campaign, compared to Scholten's $3 million.[19] Meijer defeated Scholten by a 53-47 margin in the general election.

Tenure[edit]

Meijer accepted the 2020 presidential election results, announcing publicly that he accepted the outcome and recognized Joe Biden as president-elect.[20] After experiencing the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, Meijer called for Republicans to take responsibility for their "lies" about election fraud.[21] On January 13, 2021, he voted to impeach Donald Trump alongside nine other Republicans.[22][23] The next day, Meijer stated in an interview with MSNBC that he had purchased body armor and made changes to his daily schedule due to threats against his life in reaction to the vote for impeachment.[24] On January 20, 2021, the day of the inauguration of Joe Biden, Meijer was one of seventeen newly-elected House Republicans to sign a letter congratulating Biden and expressing hope of working across the partisan divide.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morse, Cory. "Peter Meijer wins 3rd Congressional Dis trict Republican primary". mlive. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  2. ^ "Meet Peter". Peter Meijer for Congress.
  3. ^ Channel 3, Sam Knef | News (September 29, 2020). "3rd District U.S. House: Peter Meijer, Republican". WWMT. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  4. ^ "Michigan Election Results: Third Congressional District". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Jacobs, Julia (September 5, 2019). "Complaint Filed After Door Closes on Drag Performers With Down Syndrome". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "'West Michigan needs a new voice in Congress,' says Amash challenger Peter Meijer". MLive. July 3, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  7. ^ "Financial Disclosure Report" (PDF). house.gov. October 31, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  8. ^ "Meijer heir puts his military experience to use helping Hurricane Sandy victims". mlive. November 19, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c "About Peter". Peter Meijer for Congress. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  10. ^ "Making the Case for the Military". Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  11. ^ "Baghdad Missive: Stay Civil, On Subject". Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  12. ^ a b LeBlanc, Beth (September 5, 2019). "ACLU: Peter Meijer discriminated by denying art venue for Down syndrome drag performers". Detroit News. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c "DeVos family throws support behind congressional candidate Peter Meijer". MLive. April 16, 2020. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  14. ^ "Rep. Dan Crenshaw endorses Peter Meijer for Congress". WZZM13.com. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  15. ^ Spangler, Todd. "House Republican leader endorses Peter Meijer in race to replace Justin Amash". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  16. ^ "Rep. Steve Scalise endorses Peter Meijer for Congress". WXMI. May 6, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  17. ^ "Tom Cotton on Twitter: "Glad to support @VoteMeijer who served his country in uniform and now we need him to fight for West Michigan in Congress. Peter will stand up to China, he's tough on illegal immigration, and he's the best bet to keep this seat red. #MI03"". Twitter. May 8, 2020. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  18. ^ "Michigan's 3rd Congressional District election, 2020". Ballotpedia. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  19. ^ A 501tax-exempt, The Center for Responsive Politics; NW, charitable organization 1300 L. St; Washington, Suite 200; info, DC 20005 telelphone857-0044. "Michigan District 03 2020 Race". OpenSecrets. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  20. ^ Staff, Stateside. "Congressman-elect Peter Meijer hopes to bring bipartisan spirit from MI-3 to Washington, D.C." www.michiganradio.org.
  21. ^ "Congressman Meijer says Republicans should take responsibility for 'lies' about election fraud after Capitol attack". mlive. January 8, 2021.
  22. ^ Cai, Weiyi; Daniel, Annie; Gamio, Lazaro; Parlapiano, Alicia (January 13, 2021). "Live House Vote: The Second Impeachment of Donald J. Trump". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  23. ^ "These 10 House Republicans voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday". CNN. January 13, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  24. ^ Morin, Rebecca (January 14, 2021). "Peter Meijer, Republican who voted for impeachment, says he's buying body armor due to threats". USA Today. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  25. ^ "17 House GOP Freshmen Write To Biden About Working Together". NPR.org. Retrieved January 21, 2021.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Justin Amash
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 3rd congressional district

2021–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Lisa McClain
United States Representatives by seniority
413th
Succeeded by
Mary Miller