Updated Apr 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Justin Amash forms exploratory committee for third-party presidential run

Rep. Justin Amash during a 2019 town hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) announced on Tuesday that he has "launched an exploratory committee" to seek the Libertarian Party's 2020 nomination for a possible third-party presidential run.

Why it matters: Amash gained notoriety last year when he came out as the lone House Republican to support the impeachment of President Trump following the publication of the Mueller report. He later switched his party affiliation to independent.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Margaret Talev: It is clear Amash wants to position himself as an alternative to President Trump, having criticized Trump's handling of the novel coronavirus response.

  • Amash had been considering a run for months, and in recent weeks this move looked more likely. If he wins the Libertarian Party's nomination, winning the presidency would be an extreme long shot — but third-party candidates have the potential to act as spoilers in close contests.

What he's saying:

"For something new. For a government that secures our rights. For equality before the law. For an end to cronyism. For a government that fulfills its purpose and recognizes its limits. For practical approaches based in humility and trust of the people. For an honest, principled president who will defend the Constitution and put individuals first."
— Justin Amash statement on his website

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The European Union is considering an $826 billion coronavirus rescue package to fund recovery efforts for all member states, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.

By the numbers: More than 5.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 355,500 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 15.1 million tests).

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 5,682,389 — Total deaths: 354,944 — Total recoveries — 2,337,385Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 1,697,459 — Total deaths: 100,276 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  8. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy