Libertarian Rep. Amash Gets Conservative Primary Challenger

Libertarian favorite Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) has drawn a primary challenger: conservative investment manager Brian Ellis.

Ellis announced his candidacy Tuesday morning.

“Congressman Justin Amash has turned his back on our conservative principles by voting against the Paul Ryan Budget that would cut spending by $5 trillion, and against a 20% tax cut for small businesses,” Ellis said in a statement. “Congressman Amash refused to vote in favor of the Keystone Pipeline and he even voted to allow our tax dollars to fund America’s largest abortion provider.”

“I will advance conservative solutions by voting to balance the budget, reduce the tax burden, expand American energy sources, and defend the right to life and our Constitution.”

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.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Dc
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: