Our chapter on political parties discusses the potentially pivotal role of third-party and independent candidates
Rep. Justin Amash, the independent Michigan congressman who said in April he was considering running for president as a third party candidate, has announced he’s decided not to pursue a bid for the White House.
“After much reflection, I’ve concluded that circumstances don’t lend themselves to my success as a candidate for president this year, and therefore I will not be a candidate,” he tweeted Saturday.
Amash had said last month that he was seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination, and that he’d pursue the White House to be a “principled president who will defend the Constitution and put individuals first.”
It was a decision that, as Vox’s Jane Coaston explained, brought an “angry response” from a number of groups concerned Amash would draw just enough votes away from their preferred candidate to cost him victory — as well as some concern from libertarians:
And while Amash is popular among libertarians, he has not previously identified with the party, leading some to feel as if the Libertarian Party is, as Reason Magazine’s Matt Welch said, “sloppy seconds” for former Republicans.
“If he wins the nomination, it’s the fourth consecutive former Republican elected official [to win],” Welch said. “It kind of starts making you feel a little bit used.”