Former GOP Congressman Justin Amash explores joining crowded Michigan Senate field

Former Republican Congressman Justin Amash, a Libertarian who left the Republican Party in 2019 and became an independent, has announced he is considering running for Senate in Michigan.

“I’ve been humbled in recent weeks by the many people who have urged me to run for Senate in Michigan and to do so by joining the Republican primary,” Amash, who represented Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District until 2021, posted on X on Thursday. “They see what I see: contenders for the seat who are uninspired, unserious, and unprepared to tackle the chief impediment to liberty and economic prosperity – an overgrown and abusive government that strives to centralize power and snuff out individualism.”

“The people of Michigan and our country deserve better. Today I’m launching the Justin Amash for Senate Exploratory Committee as I consider entering the race.”

Amash added that a “principled” and “consistent conservative” is needed in the Senate while touting his record of “taking on the bipartisan oligarchy, defending sound money and free speech, fighting the surveillance state and military-industrial complex, and protecting all our rights.”

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Former Rep. Justin Amash (Getty)

Amash famously left the Republican Party amid strong disagreements with President Trump. After switching to “independent,” Amash joined House Democrats in voting to impeach Trump over his communications with Ukraine.

“In recent years, though, I’ve become disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it,” Amash wrote in a Washington Post op-ed announcing his departure from Congress. “The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”

Trump soon responded, calling Amash’s departure “great news” for the GOP and suggesting he quit because he was likely to lose to a primary challenge for his re-election bid.

Amash filed an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020 as a Libertarian but decided against running. 

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Debbie Stabenow

Sen. Debbie Stabenow speaks to the media during the weekly Senate Democrat Leadership press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 13, 2022. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Amash, if he decides to run, would be joining an already crowded field in the GOP primary that includes former U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers and Peter Meijer, businessman Sandy Pensler, and Detroit’s former police chief, James Craig. 

The Republicans are vying for a seat that’s been held by Democrats since 2001, but that will be vacated by Stabenow, who is retiring at the end of next year.

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U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin has led a field of Democratic candidates that also includes actor Hill Harper. Slotkin had nearly $4 million more in the bank than any other Senate candidate through September, according to campaign finance numbers released in October.

A statewide poll earlier this month concluded that the Michigan Senate race is currently a “toss up.”

President Biden won Michigan by less than three points in 2020 after former President Trump won the state in 2016 by less than a point.

Fox News Digital’s Sam Dorman, Adam Shaw, and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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