Rep. Justin Amash is considering a third-party presidential run this year to challenge President Trump and Joe Biden, and will be making a decision “soon,” his campaign said Wednesday.
The campaign for Amash, the former Republican, put out a statement Wednesday saying the Michigan independent will make a decision “soon.”
“In mid-February, Justin Amash paused active campaigning for his congressional seat to carefully consider a presidential run,” his campaign said. “He has been discussing the potential campaign with his family, his friends, his team, and others, and a decision can be expected soon.”
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Since becoming an independent, Amash has been a regular critic of Trump, especially when he believes the president is overstepping his authority. He voted in favor of impeaching Trump and in recent days spoke out against Trump’s assertions he has “total” authority to reopen the government.
Amash is a libertarian-minded conservative who was an ardent supporter of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, during his 2012 presidential run and backed his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. during the 2016 primary election. Amash later endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, when Paul’s campaign fizzled out and refused to vote for Trump in the general election.
No candidate who was not a member of one of the two major parties has won a presidential election in modern American history, and Amash will almost certainly not be the first. Republicans overwhelmingly support the president and Democrats would be unlikely to vote for the congressman who was a member of the right-wing of the GOP before he left the party.
But an Amash candidacy would amount to one of the highest-profile third-party runs, given his position as a sitting member of Congress. If he manages to gain even marginal support from Republicans and independents who might otherwise vote for Trump but dislike his tone and leadership style, it could harm the president’s chances in swing states that saw a razor-thin margin in 2016.
REP. JUSTIN AMASH ANNOUNCES HE IS LEAVING GOP; TRUMP CALLS IT ‘GREAT NEWS’
Some Democrats still blame third-party candidates Jill Stein, of the Green Party, and Gary Johnson, a libertarian, for Hillary Clinton’s downfall in 2016 after multiple swing states were decided by just a few thousand votes.
The last third-party candidate to garner significant support for a presidential campaign was Ross Perot, who ran in 1992 and 1996. His best performance was in 1992, when he secured almost 19 percent of the national popular vote.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.