Justin Amash Launches Exploratory Committee, What Does That Mean?

Justin Amash Launches Exploratory Committee, What Does That Mean?

By David Fite - April 29 2020

April 29th 2020

By David Fite

At 8:00PM on Tuesday April 28th Justin Amash announced via Twitter that he had launched an exploratory committee into seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for President. 

This comes after almost two weeks of teasing at a run which was even picked up by national news sources. In fact there has been hints towards a run for the Oval Office since last summer when he walked away from the GOP and took a hard stance on impeaching Trump. He was even championed as a possible Impeachment Manager by many progressive Democrats. This is still not an official campaign announcement – yet. An exploratory committee(EC) is a halfway point. The purpose of this committee is to determine if a campaign would be viable while being in the position to accept donations and advertise as if the campaign was fully operational. It is rare that we see such a big announcement and the creation of an EC without an actual campaign following closely behind it, so the still-exploratory nature of it shouldn’t put off potential donations and supporters. 

This announcement has already produced both widespread support and some inevitable backlash. 

Some of Amash’s now-fellow Libertarian Candidates weighed in such as Judge Jim Gray who “welcomed him to the race” and plugged his running mate, Larry Sharpe as the best VP candidate regardless of who is at the top of the ticket. Recent campaign dropout, Mark Whitney, had nothing nice to say about the Congressman saying the Libertarian Party must “stop nominating these [former Republican] pricks!”. Meanwhile a quick scroll through the comments section of Amash’s announcement tweets suggest enormous backlash from the  “Vote Blue No Matter Who” crowd as most see this as an attack on Biden that would aid in Trump’s re-election. The majority of what has come to be known as the Pragmatic Caucus of the LP still seems excited by this entry to the race with donations already pouring in.

The most important question here is what could this mean for the LP if he was to win the nomination? Could it get us 5% nationally and ballot access across the board? Could it get us on the debate stage? Could it boost name recognition for the party and heavily assist down ticket candidates? All likely outcomes.  Within a half hour of tweeting out his website link, over a dozen national news sites had an article up about his announcement and within a few hours there were already attack campaigns launched. This is more attention than most of the primary has gotten combined in it’s 12-month run. But by far the most important thing is that this means we now have an active Libertarian in Congress for the first time in history!