Michigan lawmaker Justin Amash posing for a photo shoot with his wife and children. Photo via: Social Media
Michigan lawmaker Justin Amash, the first person of Palestinian descent to serve in the US Congress, said that he is launching an exploratory committee for the 2020 Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.
On Tuesday night he unveiled his website outlining his campaign, and announced the launch of an exploratory committee, the traditional forerunner to an official candidacy, later tweeting: “Let’s do this” and also saying that he would seek the nomination of the Libertarian party.
“Americans are ready for practical approaches based in humility and trust of the people,” Amash announced. “We’re ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our constitution and bring people together.”
Amash defected from the Republican party last summer, continuing in office as an independent.
The announcement was met with an immediate flurry of comments from across the political spectrum that ridiculed Amash’s move.
Amash, the son of a refugee father and immigrant mother immediately earned the ire of more moderate Republican colleagues with disagreements over foreign intervention by the US and surveillance of the public.
Amash then founded the House Freedom Caucus, a group of ultra-conservatives who often voted to the right of party initiatives. As a staunch critic of Trump, he ultimately left the Republican party in 2019, symbolically on the Fourth of July, after becoming “disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what [he] see[s] from it”.
The US system is dominated by two parties, Donald Trump’s Republican party, and the opposition Democratic party, for which Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee to challenge for the White House in November.
There are some small fringe parties, such as the Libertarians and the Green party, but none have any members holding national office, although fielding a candidate for the White House can arguably prove decisive in a close election.