Editorial: Our choice for Michigan's 3rd Congressional District

The Detroit News Editorial Board

For a guide to The Detroit News endorsements in all races so far, click here.

Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District is open with the retirement of Republican-turned-Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash. The district, which includes the city of Grand Rapids and several surrounding counties, has historically voted conservative.

The best choice to replace Amash is Republican Peter Meijer.  

Meijer is a highly qualified candidate who expresses a desire to end partisan bickering, contain federal spending and make health care more affordable with common-sense reforms. As an Army veteran, Meijer also offers unique insight on America's overseas efforts and how best to care for those who have served our country. 

Michigan's 3rd District Congressional Republican candidate Peter Meijer speaks at a campaign rally, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

His Democrat opponent, Hillary Scholten, says coming from conservative Republican stock allows her to understand both sides of policy debates. 

Voters should be encouraged that both candidates show a willingness to work with their colleagues across the aisle and fight the partisanship in Washington. Meijer has proposed simple solutions like removing cameras from committee rooms in Congress to prevent grandstanding.

Meijer is very concerned about the effects of the growing national debt and spending decisions. While not in favor of a balanced budget amendment because of spending restrictions during recessions, Meijer backs a mechanism that sets fiscal rules for government and creates incentives for it to hit those rules. 

Scholten’s answer to the national debt and Social Security insolvency relies on repealing President Donald Trump's tax cuts to make the rich pay more in taxes.

Scholten is an impressive challenger, and it’s always good to see concerned citizens stepping up because they want to make a difference through representation. An added bonus, her policy positions are more nuanced than some in her party — she won’t throw her name behind Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, for example. 

Both candidates stress the importance of bringing down the cost of health care with different approaches. Meijer proposes a free market approach with pricing transparency, insurance flexibility across state lines and more competition where possible to keep prices low. 

Scholten believes in creating affordable health care by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, ending surprise medical billing and increasing transparency. 

Because of Peter Meijer’s free-market approach to health care and the economy, and his focus on federal fiscal responsibility, we endorse him for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District.

Endorsements are determined independently by The Detroit News Editorial Board and have no influence on news coverage.