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Michigan Rep. Amash takes step toward presidential run, announces committee

Michigan Rep. Amash takes step toward presidential run, announces committee
Posted at 11:23 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 23:23:51-04

Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., is suggesting he may run for president as he tweeted on Tuesday an announcement that he is forming a presidential exploratory committee.

Forming an exploratory committee is a common practice for potential candidates before officially running. By forming an exploratory committee, Amash can be begin fundraising for a potential run.

“Americans are ready for practical approaches based in humility and trust of the people,” Amash tweeted. “We’re ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together. I’m excited and honored to be taking these first steps toward serving Americans of every background as president.”

Amash said he would run as a member of the Libertarian Party. In 2016, the Libertarian Party ran former Republican governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld on the ticket. The Johnson/Weld ticket gained some traction in polling, with major party standard-bearers Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump having unusually high disapproval ratings among party members.

But like many third-party runs, Johnson’s campaign faded, only getting 3.3% of the national vote. Johnson still garnered the highest share by a third-party candidate since Ross Perot’s run in 1996.

The last time a third-party candidate won an Electoral College vote was in 1968, when George Wallace won five southern states.

Amash made headlines last year when he announced he was leaving the Republican Party, becoming the lone independent member of the House of Representatives. Later in 2019, he became the only non-Democratic member of the House to vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

Amash has become a vocal opponent of the president’s, despite generally being supportive of many Republican policies. One area he broke with Republicans before leaving the party was on immigration, when he voted against funding a border wall. He also was the only Republican to co-sponsor legislation that would have stopped Trump from redirecting funds to pay for a border wall.