Last week, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) announced that we would retire as the end of his current term. As I explained on Friday, this leaves a door open for Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), who has been solid on fiscal issues and civil liberties, to make the jump to the Senate — and it looks like he may actually do it. According to The Detroit News, Amash is indeed weighing his options:
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, a young firebrand in the lower chamber who has championed a Ron Paul-style of libertarian politics, said Monday he is “certainly open” to a run in 2014.
“Frankly, we can’t afford to nominate another unelectable establishment Republican,” Amash, R-Cascade Township, told The Detroit News. “History shows they don’t appeal to moderate and independent voters.”
Amash, 32, said a traditional establishment candidate cannot win the Senate seat. Posting explanations for his votes — including those that buck the GOP leadership — on his social media pages, Amash said he has enjoyed grassroots support to join the race.
“I don’t think any of the names that are being tossed around have quite hit the spot for most Republican voters or for most voters in the general election,” Amash said. “People both within the Republican Party and within the general electorate are tired of the pro-corporate welfare, anti-civil liberties Republican. I think we need to stop running on the past.”
There are some who believe Amash, who would giving up his seat to run for the Senate, should just sit tight because the politics of Michigan tend to favor Democrats. It’s true that the state has been good to Democrats, but let’s not forget that Republicans won the governorship in 2010 and took control of the state legislature in 2012. So there are recent successes there for the GOP.
Amash also has a couple other things going for him. Not only would his strong views on civil liberties help him among independent voters and possibly Democrats, Amash’s independent willingness to take on party leaders would show that he’s not the typical run-of-the-mill Republican.
If he doesn’t run, Amash will still serve as a strong voice for liberty in the House. However, the prospect of him serving alongside Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz is very tempting.