Grand Rapids businessman Langlois joins GOP field looking to take down Amash

Joel Langlois | Campaign photo

Grand Rapids businessman Joel Langlois is joining the crowded field of Republican candidates in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District. 

Langlois has multiple business holdings, including the DeltaPlex Arena in Walker where President Donald Trump has held rallies in the past. The GOP contender expressed his support for Trump in a statement, saying he would “make Congress great again,” and touting his outsider status. 

“I’m a longtime West Michigan businessman with a background in manufacturing, entertainment, and real estate,” Langlois said. “I’ve never been involved in politics before but like many Americans I’ve become disenchanted with sending career politicians to Washington and watching them turn their backs on us.”

Langlois said he’s “fully committed to working with [Trump] and using my experience in the business world to help continue what he’s started by fighting for lower taxes, more limited government, and empowering small businesses. I support a strong border, and yes, let’s build the wall.”

Langlois joins four other Republicans and three other Democrats in running for the seat held by incumbent U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.), who plans to run for his seat as an independent. 

Amash says he’ll run for re-election as an independent

Republicans seeking the Grand Rapids-based seat are grocery store heir and Iraq War veteran Peter Meijer, state Reps. Jim Lower (R-Greenville) and Lynn Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids Twp.), and former Sand Lake Village Treasurer Tom Norton. 

Democrats looking to go to Washington, D.C., are immigration attorney and former Department of Justice official Hillary Scholten, attorney and former Barack Obama aide Nick Colvin, and Doug Booth, a health care policy analyst. 

Around the same time as Langlois’ announcement on Tuesday afternoon, Lower’s campaign said that the candidate had raised more than $200,000 in 40 days. Lower said his campaign received a total of 3,161 contributions, including $5,000 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the maximum-allowed personal contribution of $2,800 from former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser and his wife, former State Board of Education Member Eileen Weiser. 

Amash primary challengers emerge after Trump impeachment tweets

“Our campaign had an aggressive goal of raising $200,000 this quarter and what is even more impressive is that we did it in just 40 days,” Lower said in a statement. “It is clear our strong message of being Pro-President Trump, Pro-Life, Pro-Jobs, Pro-2nd Amendment and Pro-Family Values has resonated with voters across the country and within the 3rd Congressional District.”

Amash currently has just over $133,000 in cash on hand, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Candidates are required to report quarterly contributions to the FEC by July 15. 

Nick Manes
Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.


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