FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Justin Amash (I-MI), recently having left the Republican Party after voicing support for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, departs after a series of votes at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
(Reuters) – Representative Justin Amash, the Republican-turned-independent from Michigan, announced Tuesday night that he would explore running for president as a Libertarian, the strongest sign yet that he will run as a third-party candidate.
Amash’s long-shot bid comes as the presidential campaign has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic
“Today, I launched an exploratory committee to seek the @LPNational’s nomination for president of the United States. Americans are ready for practical approaches based in humility and trust of the people,” Amash tweeted.
Amash, a 40-year-old conservative lawmaker who has been a member of Congress since 2011 and had helped found the House Freedom Caucus, left the Republican Party last July after his criticisms of President Donald Trump alienated him from his former allies.
He joined with Democrats to vote to impeach Trump, but on most policy issues still votes as a straight-line Republican.
Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Leslie Adler