Mr. Norton, who confronted Mr. Meijer at the Northview Fourth of July parade in a middle-class Grand Rapids neighborhood, said afterward that he was sure there was election fraud in 2020 and was pushing for an Arizona-style “forensic audit” that would go even deeper than the audit already conducted.
One of Mr. Upton’s challengers, state Representative Steve Carra, has introduced legislation to force such an audit in Michigan, even though he conceded that he had only skimmed the March report, which not only concluded that there was no fraud but called for those making such false claims to be referred for prosecution.
“To say that there’s no evidence of widespread fraud I think is wrong,” said Mr. Carra, who was elected to his first term in November, at age 32.
He sees a golden opportunity to finally unseat Mr. Upton, who has been in Congress since before Mr. Carra was born. Redistricting could bring a new cache of voters from neighboring Battle Creek who have not spent decades pulling the lever for the incumbent. Mr. Upton’s challengers are bringing his moderate voting record to primary voters’ attention.
But above all, there is Mr. Upton’s impeachment vote.
“When Fred Upton voted to impeach President Trump, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me,” Mr. Carra said, sitting on a park bench in Three Rivers, Mich.
Jon Rocha, another of Mr. Upton’s challengers, spoke in measured tones to a reporter about his rival’s vote to impeach. Mr. Upton had been acting out of emotion, said the former Marine, who is Mexican American and a political newcomer, and had failed to consider Mr. Trump’s due process or take the time to investigate.
But onstage in front of the crowd at the Festival of Truth, Mr. Rocha’s tone darkened.
“This country is under attack,” he thundered. “Our children are being indoctrinated to hate the color of their skin, to hate this country and to believe this country is systemically racist and meant to oppress anybody with a different skin pigment. I can attest to you, as an American Mexican, that is not the case.”