John Gibbs, the Republican nominee running for Congress in western Michigan’s competitive 3rd US House District, launched his first TV ad on Tuesday touting his Ivy League education and work history.
The 30-second ad shows Gibbs sitting on a couch with his mother, Mary Gibbs. He says he told her the campaign was a commercial, “and she insisted on taking part.”
“My son is too modest. John is a hard worker. The first in the family to go to college – Stanford and Harvard,” she says. “The most important thing is that he is an honest man. I know my son will finally bring sanity to Washington.”
Gibbs’ mother also says he is “a successful businessman,” referring to his time as a software engineer for Silicon Valley companies, including Apple Inc., campaign spokesman AnneMarie Schieber said.
The ad will run this week during the elections on November 8. Schieber declined to say how much the campaign spends on broadcast ads.
Gibbs, 43, most recently served as an appointee of former President Donald Trump at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, before serving as a Christian missionary in Japan for seven years.
He is up against Democrat Hillary Scholten, a lawyer who previously worked at the US 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 reclassification cycle. Analysts say it’s the Democrats’ best chance of securing a seat in Michigan in a year when the party is trying to maintain control of the House.
Scholten and Gibbs compete to replace freshman U.S. Representative Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids Township, who ousted Gibbs in the Aug. 2 primary. Scholten lost 47% to 53% from Meijer in 2020 under old district lines.
Gibbs defeated Meijer by 52% to 48% in the primary, despite being spent more than 5-to-1 by Meijer’s campaign, not counting spending by outside groups. He ran no TV ads during the primary campaign.
Scholten has released two television commercials since the primaries of August 2. One emphasized her faith and family, and the latter took a moderate tone, urging Democrats to “stop spending” and Republicans to “focus on people.”