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Rep. Justin Amash to seek third-party presidential bid

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash announced Tuesday night he has launched a committee to explore running for president as the Libertarian candidate after exiting the Republican Party to serve as an independent in July. Photo courtesy of U.S. House of Representatives/Website
Michigan Rep. Justin Amash announced Tuesday night he has launched a committee to explore running for president as the Libertarian candidate after exiting the Republican Party to serve as an independent in July. Photo courtesy of U.S. House of Representatives/Website

April 28 (UPI) -- Michigan Rep. Justin Amash announced Tuesday night he has launched a committee to explore running for president as the Libertarian candidate.

"We're ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together," he said in a tweet announcing the committee's launch. "I'm excited and honored to be taking these first steps toward serving Americans of every background as president."

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Accompanying the announcement was a link to his sparse "Amash for America" website seeking donations and calling for a "principled president" who will defend the Constitution, end cronyism and support the limits of government.

The former Republican-turned-independent has been contemplating running for president for months, and a few weeks ago said he was "closely" looking at the possibility of putting his hat into the ring.

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The spotlight of this 40-year-old conservative politician from Grand Rapids has grown under the Trump presidency, as he was often the only Republican to openly criticize the Commander in Cheif, and was the first of his party to join Democrats calling for an impeachment inquiry.

In July, he announced his exit from the Republican Party, railing against "hyper-partisan" politics as most Americans "do not feel well represented by either of the two parties," he wrote in a Washington Post Op-ed.

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It is unclear how a third-party candidate will affect the already turbulent election campaign that has seen the Democratic Party with nearly 30 candidates announcing intentions to run whittled down to former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive nominee after Sen. Bernie Sanders exited the race early this month.

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Amash's announcement comes a day after the State of New York Board of Elections canceled the Democratic presidential primary this year due to the coronavirus.

The Libertarian Party is on the ballot of 36 states including Washington, D.C., according to the party's website.

Libertarian Party National Chairman Nicholas Sarwark told The New York Times in a telephone interview Tuesday that he had spoken with Amash and though neutral in the race said he was "happy that he decided to seek the nomination."

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