Justin Amash was elected to represent Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District in the Tea Party wave of the 2010 midterms. In recent years, he has morphed into an anti-Trump figure. He left the GOP last summer and has since been floated by Democrats as a potential ‘manager’ of the Senate impeachment trial.

None of his recent actions have helped his chances for reelection. In fact, his congressional seat is now leaning Republican according to Cook Political Report.

David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report has details:

MI-03: Amash’s District Moves from Toss Up to Lean Republican

Independent Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03), who defected from the GOP in July and voted for both articles of impeachment, said in November that he still plans to run for reelection. But Michigan’s filing deadline for third parties isn’t until July and the former Tea Party poster child could either continue running an uphill reelection bid in a three way race, seek the Libertarian nod for president or not run for anything at all.

The situation in Grand Rapids is unique, but Amash’s impeachment stance (and the fact Democratic freshmen are even lobbying for him to serve as a manager in a Senate trial) complicates Democrats’ math. Any path in 2020 probably involved Amash siphoning votes from the GOP nominee, reducing the threshold for victory. Now, Amash’s anti-Trump posture seems more likely to split votes on the left.

Unlike pro-Trump party switcher Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Amash is now his own island. It’s doubtful there’s a sufficient market for a pro-life/pro-impeachment independent in the district to allow him a path to a sixth term. He had $273,000 in the bank at the end of September – far less than the GOP nominee is likely to be able to spend — and won’t be able to lean on financial support from either party.

There are two serious contenders for the Republican nomination in the district:

The August GOP primary is a genuinely competitive affair between DeltaPlex arena owner Joel Langlois, state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis, and Iraq/Afghan War veteran and grocery empire heir Peter Meijer.

This is a district that flipped from Obama to Trump in 2016, and the Republicans running here clearly know this. They made their positions clear in a recent debate.

Dustin Dwyer reports at Michigan Radio:

Republicans bash Amash, mostly praise Trump in primary debate for Congressional seat

Republicans debated last night in Grand Rapids for the chance to represent their party against Independent Congressman Justin Amash in 2020.

There were six candidates:

“I do have I believe the broadest base of experience,” said Lynn Afendoulis, a state House representative who says she also has extensive experience in the business community.

“I was the first candidate to file against Justin Amash,” said Tom Norton, of Sand Lake. “I filed because we weren’t being represented at all.”

“Beginning from day one, I supported our president,” said Joel Langlois, a business person who owns the DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids. “I’m really the only one on this stage that can say that honestly.”

For Amash, there is no denying that many of the people who voted to send him to Congress in 2010 see his anti-Trump position as a betrayal.

Featured image via YouTube.


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