GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Heartland Newsfeed) — An independent member of Congress is ditching his re-election bid to explore a presidential run in November. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Township) made an announcement on Twitter Tuesday evening, linking to his campaign website.
“Today, I launched an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President of the United States,” Amash writes. “Americans are ready for practical approaches based in humility and trust of the people.”
“We’re ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together,” Amash continues. “I’m excited and honored to be taking these first steps toward serving Americans of every background as president.”
Amash’s website makes one major claim: we’re ready. The site’s mission statement includes many things including the protection of rights and equality under the law. Additionally, it calls for a limited, Constitutional government that puts individualism first.
Not everyone is in favor
In an October 2019 article in Reason Magazine, the question was posed by editor-at-large Matt Welch. However, there wasn’t much support for an Amash run back in July 2019, when Welch moderated a presidential forum in Massachusetts.
From the article as previously credited:
“I feel like I talk about Justin Amash more than I do about myself,” candidate Kim Ruff groused at a Massachusetts state convention presidential debate that I moderated in mid-July. Neither Ruff (who won an informal post-debate straw poll) nor any of the other participating candidates—Kokesh, former party vice-chairman Arvin Vohra, New Hampshire state Rep. Max Abramson, and Dan “Taxation Is Theft” Behrman—said they would support Amash over their competitors should he decide to run.
“We cannot elect or nominate a former Republican…for the fourth cycle in a row. I just think that would set the party back so far,” Kokesh said. “I would really, enthusiastically welcome Amash to the race, but I would be more thrilled to support and see anybody on this stage beating him.”
Since then, Ruff and Abramson have dropped out of the running. Former LNC vice chair Arvin Vohra, libertarian radio host Adam Kokesh and Dan “Taxation Is Theft” Behrman are among roughly two dozen candidates seeking the Libertarian nomination. The nominating convention, initially slated for Austin, Tex. over Memorial Day weekend, is currently in limbo as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. As a result, Ruff is currently backing Vermin Supreme. Abramson has moved on to an independent run for president.
A declaration of independents (and other third-party candidates)?
Amash made a formal declaration of independence from the Republican Party on Independence Day 2019, becoming an independent representative as a result. At the time of this change, he was first asked about a presidential run. Amash denied any attempts to run for president at the time.
Outside of the Libertarian and Green parties, there are very few other alternative parties with significant ballot access.
Rocky De La Fuente and Darcy Richardson have ballot access in Delaware and South Carolina under the Alliance Party banner. Additionally, they have similar status in Florida and Mississippi under the Reform Party banner.
Brian Carroll and Amar Patel from the American Solidarity Party are currently write-in candidates in eight states, but will not be visible on the physical ballot.
The Constitution Party, whose presumptive nominee is Don Blankenship, has ballot access in fifteen states.
The Green Party has yet to determine their nominee, but based on delegate count, it could likely be Howie Hawkins. Things could change as Jesse Ventura, former pro wrestler, considers a run for the nomination. Ventura was governor of Minnesota under the Reform Party banner before switching to the state’s Independence Party in 2000.
For more national and political news, follow Jake Leonard @JakeLeonardWPMD and Heartland Newsfeed @HLNF_Bulletin on Twitter. Additionally, you can follow Heartland Newsfeed on Facebook and Reddit among other platforms.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.