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GOP congressional nominee John Gibbs speaks at Unity Reception, to face off against Scholten in Nov.

WZZM-TV Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek logo WZZM-TV Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek 8/3/2022 13 ON YOUR SIDE Staff

The Kent County GOP is hosting a Unity Reception to introduce their slate of Republican candidates for the upcoming general election in November.

Among the candidates expected to speak is the Republican nominee for the 3rd Congressional District, John Gibbs.

Gibbs narrowly defeated incumbent Rep. Peter Meijer in the primary election on Tuesday.

Gibbs, endorsed by former President Trump, only defeated Meijer by 3,854 votes. Meijer received a lot of pushback from West Michigan Republicans for voting to impeach Trump at the beginning of his first term.

At the reception, Gibbs continued to tout his relationship with the former president.

"President Trump called and one of the things he said was, take a vacation tomorrow for about two hours," says Gibbs. "So, we're going to have to hit the ground running pretty hard here really soon."

Gibbs's opponent in the general election, Democrat Hillary Scholten, says no matter who came out of the primary, she's ready for her opponent.

"I've said all along, you know, we were prepared to face either Republican who came out of the Republican primary contest," says Scholten. "You know, the contrasts between me and the two opponents are so stark."

Scholten even said she's already received support from some Republicans.

"We've had supporters of Congressman Meijer reach out to us and want to get involved in our campaign," she says.

Meijer himself, on the other hand, introduced and appeared to show support for Gibbs before his speech at the reception.

"It was, you know, a long race, but a race that John ran very well," says Meijer. "I send my congratulations, and wishing you the best of luck in all that is to come."

There are nine State Congressional Districts, five State Senate Districts and two U.S. Congressional Districts that cover parts of Kent County. The Kent County GOP has not said how many of their party's nominees will speak at the event.

The event hold significant importance after the Michigan Republican Party cancelled their primary watch party on Tuesday after a female staffer was reported to have received violent threats.

There is heightened security at the Unity Reception this evening.

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