Republican Gibbs releases first TV ad in Michigan's 3rd District Nov. 8 House race

Riley Beggin
The Detroit News

John Gibbs, the Republican candidate running for Congress in west Michigan's competitive 3rd U.S. House District, launched his first TV advertisement Tuesday touting his Ivy League education and work history.

The 30-second ad shows Gibbs seated on a couch with his mother, Mary Gibbs. He says he told her the campaign was making a commercial, "and she insisted on joining."

"My son is too humble. John is a hard worker. First in the family to attend college — Stanford and Harvard," she says. "Most importantly he's an honest man. I know my son will finally bring common sense to Washington."

Gibbs' mother also says he is "a successful businessman," which refers to his time working as a software engineer for companies in Silicon Valley, including Apple Inc., said campaign spokesperson AnneMarie Schieber. 

The ad will run this week through the election on Nov. 8. Schieber declined to say how much the campaign is spending on broadcast advertisements. 

Gibbs, 43, most recently worked as an appointee of former President Donald Trump in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and previously served for seven years as a Christian missionary in Japan. 

He is running against Democrat Hillary Scholten, an attorney who previously worked with the U.S. Department of Justice under former President Barack Obama. 

The district is one of the most competitive in the state and has become more Democratic since the last redistricting cycle. Analysts have deemed it the Democrats' best chance to pick up a seat in Michigan in a year when the party is trying to retain control of the House.

Scholten and Gibbs are vying to replace freshman U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids Township, whom Gibbs ousted in the Aug. 2 GOP primary. Scholten lost to Meijer 47% to 53% under old district lines in 2020. 

Gibbs beat Meijer 52% to 48% in the primary, despite being outspent by Meijer's campaign more than 5-to-1, not including spending by outside groups. He did not release any TV ads during the primary campaign.

Scholten has released three television ads since the Aug. 2 primary. One emphasized her faith and family, one urged Democrats to "stop the spending," and the latest focused on her work at the DOJ

Twitter: @rbeggin