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Libertarian Rep. Amash Gets Conservative Primary Challenger

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AP Photo

Ellis's candidacy is reportedly buoyed by business leaders in Michigan and it appears that the Republican businessman plans to challenge Amash by running a campaign focused on fiscal issues.

Over the weekend The Washington Post reported that Ellis had been urged to challenge Amash because of fatigue among local Michigan business leaders toward Tea Party Republicans in Washington, especially in terms of how the GOP has handled the ongoing spending and budget fights.

Ellis, who owns an investment advisory firm, marks his challenge as a strong contrast to the political standing of Amash, who, just a few months ago, was considered a top-tier candidate to run for outgoing Sen. Carl Levin's (D-MI) Senate seat.

Amash had also raised his profile for joining in an attempted coup of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and leading an effort (that narrowly failed) to defund the National Security Agency's secret surveillance program.

Amash finished the last fundraising quarter with just $164,000 cash on hand and took to Facebook to ask supporters for campaign contributions. Since Ellis has a background in the business community and is supported by business leaders from Michigan's Grand Rapids area, fundraising may not be a problem for him.

About The Author

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Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.