Justin Amash

Amash Beats Back Crony Republican's Primary Challenge

A libertarian Congressman can fight an uncompromising battle against big government and big business and keep his seat, after all.


Reason TV

Incumbent Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) survived a closely-watched primary election Tuesday night, defeating challenger Brian Ellis 55 percent to 45 percent and retaining the Republican nomination for the west Michigan House seat. Ellis conceded around 10:30 p.m. ET, according to the Grand Rapids Press.

Amash, a liberty-friendly Republican whose principled opposition to NSA spying, crony capitalism, and foreign entanglements has earned him support from libertarians—as well as the enmity of the GOP establishment—was forecast to win the race weeks ago. However, his political survival was not always a matter of fact. Neoconservative Republicans and corporatist special interests backed Ellis early in the race. Their attempts to portray Amash as the "best friend" of both Nancy Pelosi and al-Qaida backfired, however. District voters told Slate's Dave Weigel that they were tired of Ellis's negative campaigning and agreed with Amash that it was wrong to trade liberty for security.

Having secured the Republican nomination, Amash is all but guaranteed to be re-elected in November. Undeniable good news: It seems a libertarian Congressman can fight an uncompromising battle against big government and big business and keep his seat, after all.

Read more about why Justin Amash's primary win vindicates libertarian politics here.

And watch Reason TV's interview with Amash below.

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Justin Amash Libertarianism

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52 responses to “Amash Beats Back Crony Republican's Primary Challenge

    1. It seems a libertarian Congressman can fight an uncompromising battle against big government and big business and keep his seat, after all.

      Uncompromising, but mostly contained. Much like Paul the Elder’s long, quiet career. We’ll need to reach a critical mass of Amashes and Pauls before anything effectual takes place.

      1. But maybe they can stop stuff like TARP 2.

      2. We’ll need to reach a critical mass of Amashes and Pauls before anything effectual takes place.

        Agreed. But those others will come. As soon as others see that Republicans are not winning elections by being the biggest hypocrites the world has ever seen, the rest will flock in droves.

  1. Its up to 56-44.

  2. A little close for comfort, but I’ll take it.

    Good to see him survive.

  3. Chicken dinner!

    1. And I’ll buy a round.

  4. attempts to portray Amash as the “best friend” of both Nancy Pelosi and al-Qaida backfired

    That went all the way from sleazy to asinine. Whoever came up with shit should get a shoe upside the head.


    1. jcr,
      Obo is still seen as a competent human being, so it wasn’t all that bad a bet.
      There are low-info voters who will bleeve all sorts of things.

  5. Now his asshat challenger is going to endorse the Dem, or some random third party guy.

  6. Dear Brian Ellis: FUCK YOU.

    That being said, I am pretty disturbed it was even as close as it was. I wanted a crushing, and I hope those idiot votes don’t stay at home or go Dem in November.

  7. The GOP establishment can eat a dick, even if Bo finds it morally abhorrent. The Dem establishment can eat a dick, too, for matter, but that’s not really relevant to this particular story.

  8. Fuck yeah, Amash, wish I could vote for you, but I’m in Murland, for now. But, congrats, you’re one of the few congress critters worthy of your job.

  9. Awesome that Amash won. Slightly disappointed that it wasn’t a blowout; how does Amash’s district not see that Ellis is a slimy toad with no principles?

    1. Money, Dem turnout, the fact Amash is a weird name whereas Ellis isn’t. And 56-44 is pretty much a blowout in this context.

    2. :Winner
      J. Amash (i)

      B. Ellis

      Precincts Reporting: 100%

      That looks to be a pretty solid ass whipping to me..

  10. Why, oh why can I not comment on Whygals column on Slate. I was going to say that the margin of victory was larger that 8%…

  11. This is a move in the right direction, sure, but it’s a tiny, tiny step. Amash is only perceptibly different by comparison to the scum currently in power … He’s actually still quite authoritarian by any reasonable libertarian standard. Come on, DOMA? Are you serious? I cautiously celebrate this victory only with the very strong caveat that we stop legitimizing people like Amash as libertarians and push for more – incrementalism is meaningless unless we do … as people with principles who know better we should be holding them accountable to a much higher standard. Our brand is not something to be abused and watered down. Same on Reason for failing to point this out!!

    1. Uh, what? Amash is miles away from the scum currently in power, in that he wants to abolish large segments of the government without creating new ones. Who the fuck cares about his opinion on DOMA (a fairly minimal and federalist government policy as is)?

      The ones who have abused the libertarian brand as far as I can see are the More Libertarian Than Thous who like to bitch about everything and everyone calling themselves libertarian who have not submitted to the One Libertarian Truth (which only they possess).

    2. It’s not a brand, it’s an ideology.

    3. WTF? His stated position is that government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all. That’s the most libertarian position. And he supported repealing DOMA, so wtf is your issue here?

      1. Is it no longer possible to post a polite comment on HandR that veers from a narrow, Reason-centric orthodoxy without inviting comments like “WTF?” and “who the fuck cares?”

        Good lord, let’s have a debate if you want, but it seems lately that newcomers and others with even slightly different views are shouted down with the hopes they’ll be hounded off these comment pages.

        1. When you state something cleary wrong, you deserve a wtf? Newby or John.

    4. “Someone who votes with you 80% of the time is not your enemy”. Reagan

  12. “I want to say to lobbyist Pete Hoekstra, you’re a disgrace,” he said. “I’m glad we could hand you one more loss before you fade into total obscurity and irrelevance.”

    I slow clapped in front of my computer screen. Holy hell, this guy has balls.

  13. Ellis got a-mashed!

  14. Why is Amish so important?

    I know why he is for reason but why is he important for MSM and the GOP establishment?

    In Washington State Clint Didier a Freedom Works favorite looks to be the top winner for Doc Hastings seat.

    His challenger for the general election will be another republican (Washington state has weird “only top two go to general” primary rules). Just some farmer from Yakima.

    I don’t think the GOP establishment put up a candidate for the election and Didier doesn’t sound like he will play nice with them.

    I imagine there are tons of races nationwide just like the one in Washington. Why did the Amish one become the focus?

    1. The chamber of cronyism has had an axe to grind with Amish for a while. They had been threatening to primary his ass back in 2012/2013 for failing to get on board with their strategies (Rubio style), bring home the bacon, and end his support for the government shutdown brief hiatus in the fed/crony cash giveaway. They made their move, and impotent rage is all it amounted to.. and that’s a good thing.

      1. So the Amish primary election was not some epic battle between GOP establishment and the Tea party but simply local businessmen got pissed cuz Amish didn’t give them the handouts they wanted.

        1. Generally, yes.. but they squawked, and the U.S. chamber of cronyism came running.. for what good it did them. They wanted to send a message, while still hedging their bet. Bentivolio was rightly seen as the softer target, so.. there’s that.

        2. CoC is the GOP establishment. Not sure what you see as the difference.

          1. Not sure what you see as the difference.

            The lack of similar establishment challenges against other Tea party candidates.

            ie why I put up the Washington State example.

  15. Well the scientific case for global warming is now dead.


    The political case will carry on.

    1. Just to be clear, for man made global warming to be plausible not only are the oceans hiding heat ..
      But apparently the fucking atmosphere has to be on the scheme as well.

    2. Now that hits at the heart of the argument. It will be difficult to worm out of this one, although I’m certain they will try.

    3. Negative feedback loops, who would have guessed?

  16. Best news you’ll get all day!

  17. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it.


  18. Maybe the Chamber of Cronyism can learn something from this… oh, who am I kidding.

    But it was good to see them get kicked in the wedding tackle nonetheless.

  19. Also – so much for the Republican = old white man party:

    Amash is a second generation Arab-American of Palestinian Christian and Syrian Greek Orthodox descent.[3] His father is a Palestinian business owner, whose family emigrated to the United States in 1956 through the sponsorship of a Christian pastor and his family.


    1. If there can be white Hispanics there can be white Arabs.

      1. Melkite Catholic Syrians were legally classified as white under Apartheid and in Australia. I’m not sure about the US.

    2. I wonder if he gives a rats ass about a right of return.

    3. He’s white enough for Team Blue to call him a racist whenever it’s convenient.

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    1. Gee, a whole $100 a day?!?!?!?!

      SIGN ME UP!!!!!

  21. It certainly is good news, but like others have already mentioned, how did Ellis get that close ? Are the voters for Ellis completely in the dark or does voting for cronyism really appeal to some ?

    1. The Repub. establishment piled on against Amash–he really frightens them.

      Not as hard as they went after Bentivoglio however (even the leftish Free Press went after him). And Bentivoglio kinda wimped out on the campaign trail in the last month or so, so I wasn’t surprised he got skunked.

  22. Should it tell Libertarians anything that ‘liberty’ leaning, almost libertarian types, are running under the Republican flag and gettting elected? That Rand Paul is performing well in certain Red Team bastions. I can’t tell whether this is a positive story about the movement of Red Team toward liberty or if it should inform me about just a far from liberty Blue Team has traveled?

  23. District voters told Slate’s Dave Weigel that they were tired of Ellis’s negative campaigning and agreed with Amash that it was wrong to trade liberty for security.

    Later, the voters said it’s OK if it’s for the children though.

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