DES MOINES, Iowa – On Tuesday night, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., launched his presidential exploratory committee for the Libertarian nomination in 2020.
“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 announced on Twitter.
“Americans are ready for practical approaches based in humility and trust of the people,” he added.
Amash, 40, was first elected to represent Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District in 2010 after winning re-election three times as a Republican. He was an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and that opposition drew a primary challenge by Trump supporter, State Rep. Jim Lower. In a poll conducted in June of 2019, after Amash spoke in favor of impeachment, the incumbent congressman trailed Lower by 16 points.
He left the Republican Party on Independence Day, and voted in favor of both articles of impeachment against Trump in December.
The Libertarian Party is a natural fit for Amash, considered one of the most libertarian-leaning Republicans in Congress before leaving the party.
“Amash joining the race certainly makes it more interesting, he is someone I have long supported as a congressman, and I welcome him to our party,” Joseph Howe, former chairman of the Libertarian Party of Iowa, told Caffeinated Thoughts.
Howe said that Amash faces a difficult challenge to win the party’s nomination at the national convention because with the convention being just a month away, the lost the opportunity to court delegates at state conventions.
He noted that Iowa’s delegates to the national convention are not bound to vote for the state’s Libertarian caucus winner, Jacob Hornberger, but many delegates have committed to candidates already.
“If he is our nominee, I will proudly support him and am eager to have his voice added to the Libertarian debate,” Howe added.