Huizenga defeated challenger Dr. Rob Davidson of Spring Lake.
“There’s a lot of work to be done — that is what I’m anxious for,” Huizenga told members of the media Tuesday night. “We’ve come a long ways in the last two years. I want to keep that going — that’s going to be my goal, my aim to continue to make sure we’re protecting the Great Lakes and that we also have a healthy economy.”
Supporters gathered late into the evening Tuesday at New Holland Brewing in downtown Holland to await results. Huizenga spoke enthusiastically to his supporters, who greeted him with chants of “USA” and “Huizenga” in an energetic room.
Huzienga received 168,843 votes — 55 percent — to Davidson’s 131,195 votes.
Davidson was at his own gathering of supporters at the CIO Headquarters in Muskegon on Tuesday night. There, he noted that the margin was slimmer than usual for the two-time incumbent.
Davidson made stops in Holland and Muskegon on Tuesday, trudging door to door to make his last-minute pleas for voter support.
An emergency room doctor and former Spring Lake school board member, Davidson ran a campaign for what he called “West Michigan values of looking out for your neighbors.”
“That’s what I get to do every day when I come to work,” he said during a Grand Haven Tribune-sponsored debate with Huizenga in October, in which Davidson outlined a difference in “philosophy of government” from his opponent.
Davidson’s platform emphasized creating a national health care system, funding public education and protecting the environment.
“I learned the districts aren’t red and blue,” he said. “We have so many people with different points of view, different ideas. We have so many people whose needs aren’t being met.”
Davidson said if the chips didn’t fall his way Tuesday, he wasn’t leaving politics. He didn’t say what the future of his political life would entail, if not service in the U.S. House.
“I absolutely am not going away and I will continue to struggle for what I think is right,” he said. “I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what that will look like. The struggle continues. Not for me and my family — we’re OK. A lot of people in this district and this country are struggling to get by.”
Huizenga has made the case this campaign season, his third vying for the seat, for the Trump administration’s policies on the economy, foreign policy and immigration.
Under President Obama, Huizenga said at the debate, “We had a president who was attempting to make our country popular, but it wasn’t respected.”
Huizenga has voted in line with Trump nearly 98 percent of the time, only twice voting against the wishes of the president.
“We have to look at immigration issues, we’re going to continue to look at what we can do with the economy, make additional tax cuts and make sure we’ve got a robust economy happening around us,” the congressman said. “Health care is a part of that, too. We’re going to have to deal with those things.”
At times, the race for Huizenga’s seat, including debates between the two candidates, became contentious. However, Huizenga said he did not take part in “smearing” his opponent and will work to bridge the gaps with those who did not vote for him.
“I think people around here are very frustrated with the smears and the fear that’s been out there, and I’m talking about facts and results,” he said. “I’m talking about what I want to do and what more we have to do. We’re going to continue to talk about results for West Michigan.”