GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, I-Grand Rapids, made it clear Thursday he would not attempt to retain his seat.
While Amash’s status had been a little unclear, the move is not a surprise. He stopped actively campaigning in February and said as far back as October he wasn’t certain he would seek reelection.
As a fifth-term congressman, Amash had a solid hold of the 3rd Congressional District for years. But the seat seemed to go into play as soon as he left the Republican Party a year ago over ideological differences, particularly in regards to President Donald Trump‘s behavior during the Russian election meddling investigation — though Amash had always leaned toward libertarianism.
Earlier this year, he pitched a bid for the Libertarian nomination for president that ended after only a few weeks.
With Amash out of the way, five Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination to run for the 3rd District seat: Rep. Lynn Afendoulis, Joe Farrington, Peter Meijer, Tom Norton and Emily Rafi. Four of those candidates participated in a debate hosted by WOOD TV8 earlier this week.
The primary winner will face Hillary Scholten, the only Democrat seeking the seat, in the November general election.