Democratic campaign arm officially targeting Amash’s district

    U.S. Rep. Justin Amash
    U.S. Rep. Justin Amash | Gage Skidmore, Flickr
    Updated, 4:21 p.m. 8/15/19 to reflect that Cathy Albro ran against Amash in 2018, not 2016

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is officially eyeing a long-coveted West Michigan district as an opportunity to flip another seat blue in 2020. 

    Cheri Bustos
    U.S. Rep. and DCCC chair Cheri Bustos

    Citing incumbent U.S. Rep. Justin Amash’s (I-Cascade Twp.) “abandonment of the Republican Party” and increasing support for Democrats in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, the DCCC has officially put the Grand Rapids-based seat on its list of 2020 targets. 

    “Democrats started the 2020 cycle by going on offense and after outworking and outperforming Washington Republicans over the last eight months we’re pushing even further into Republican held territory,” DCCC Chair and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) said in a statement Thursday. 

    Other districts added to the DCCC’s target list include Ohio’s 12th Congressional District outside Columbus and Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, stretching from Iowa City west toward Des Moines and the southern part of the state. 

    Amash, a self-identified libertarian who has frequently clashed with GOP leadership since taking office in 2011, announced in July that he was leaving the Republican Party and would run for his seat as an independent candidate. 

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

    Amash also faces a crowded field of primary candidates in both parties, and The Cook Political Report has labeled the long-held Republican seat a “toss-up” that’s potentially fertile ground for Democrats. 

    Amash faced one of his closest Congressional elections so far in 2018*, winning by 11 percentage points over Democratic challenger Cathy Albro. That was down from 22 percentage points in 2016. 

    So far, Amash hasn’t said that he particularly fears the challenges from both sides. 

    amash
    Jim Riley at a protest against Congressman Justin Amash in Grand Rapids, June 14, 2019

    “I feel good about where I’m at the district. I think it requires me to, of course, be a strong representative for everyone in the district,” Amash told the Advance earlier this year.

    “It’s a district that is fairly balanced and I think fairly independently minded. My job is to go to Congress and represent everyone,” he said. “I believe I do a good job of that and that’s why I get good crossover support.”

    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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