View Full Version : The Ugliest House Primary of the Cycle

07-09-2014, 12:15 PM
The Ugliest House Primary of the Cycle
Tea-party favorite Rep. Justin Amash is under assault by a GOP establishment candidate in Michigan, but still leads in the polls.

By Jack Fitzpatrick
July 8, 2014

Tea party-backed Rep. Justin Amash has made enough enemies in the Republican Party so that he shouldn't be surprised when he faces a tough primary challenge. But even by Amash's standards, businessman Brian Ellis's campaign against him in Michigan's 3rd District has been aggressive.

"I've been very factual with how Justin has voted," Ellis said. "Hard-hitting, yes, but factual."

Ellis, an investment executive who poured $400,000 of his own money into his campaign by the end of March, has run TV ads accusing Amash of being "al-Qaida's best friend in Congress" and favoring laws that allow "killing an unborn baby because it's not the sex the parent wanted."

Unlike most Republican challengers, Ellis is an establishment-backed candidate looking to take down a tea-party incumbent in the Aug. 5 primary. That unusual dynamic has led Ellis to attract support from moderate, business-oriented groups like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Farm Bureau while also attempting to run to Amash's right with aggressive campaign ads. The major theme of Ellis's campaign has been that Amash is a wild card who doesn't reflect local conservatives' concerns. Amash, for instance, has been an outspoken advocate for limits on surveillance by the National Security Agency.

"He's a libertarian, not a Republican," Ellis said. "That's the agenda he's pushing."


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