Rep. Amash: I've Decided About My Third-Party Run

The independent from Michigan says it's not the right time
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2020 2:30 PM CDT
Rep. Amash: I've Decided About My Third-Party Run
In this June 12, 2019, file photo, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., listens to debate on Capitol Hill in Washington. Amash, a Trump critic, said Saturday, May 16, 2020, that he has decided not to seek the Libertarian nomination to run for president.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sorry, libertarians—Rep. Justin Amash says he's no longer running for president. The political independent from Michigan announced Saturday he's dropping his third-party bid "after much reflection," calling the decision "difficult" and saying that "circumstances don't lend themselves to my success as a candidate for president this year." The former Republican announced in April that he was exploring a presidential run under the Libertarian Party banner, sparking much concern among Democrats, Republicans, and "Never Trumper" Republicans alike—each worried he would siphon off enough votes for their preferred candidate to lose, per Politico and the New York Times.

CNN notes that Amash took a few swipes at modern politics on his way out the campaign door: "Polarization is near an all-time high," he tweeted. "Electoral success requires an audience willing to consider alternatives, but both social media and traditional media are dominated by voices strongly averse to the political risks posed by a viable third candidate." He added that the Libertarian Party "is well positioned to become a major and consistent contender to win elections at all levels of government." Amash jumped into the media spotlight last May when he signaled support for impeaching President Trump, who then criticized Amash on social media and called him a "loser." (Amash turned heads by voting against an anti-lynching bill.)

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