View Full Version : Amash fends off business critics, is favored to win in August primary

07-24-2014, 09:30 AM
Amash fends off business critics, is favored to win in August primary

By Cameron Joseph
July 24, 2014, 06:00 am

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) looks poised to win his primary next month, despite infuriating centrist and business Republicans both nationally and back at home.

Amash, a libertarian-leaning iconoclast, has clashed with House leadership and irritated local business groups with his steadfast refusal to back legislation they deem crucial.

But despite a spirited challenge from self-funding businessman Brian Ellis (R), it looks like Amash will win his Aug. 5 primary. Polls show the congressman ahead by a comfortable margin, and although outside groups have come in big for Amash, no one has spent heavily on Ellis’s behalf.

“I don’t see how Ellis can beat him in the two remaining weeks,” says longtime Michigan political observer Bill Ballenger.


Ellis has won some powerful endorsements as well. The Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Right to Life, and the local, state and national Chamber of Commerce chapters are all backing him, as are Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who once represented the area.

But the Chamber didn’t endorse until a week ago and has made no moves to spend on the race, a sharp contrast to its strategy to spend early and heavily to define its opponents. The late endorsement is a sign that the Chamber doesn’t see Amash as very vulnerable.

Chamber Political Director Rob Engstrom told The Hill that he doesn’t “have anything to announce right now” about spending in the race.


Attacks from Amash and the conservative groups supporting him, painting him as a liberal who wasted tax dollars on local boards, have inflated Ellis’s negative numbers. Most Michigan Republicans believe that those early attacks, and Amash’s hard work at home, will keep the congressman in the House for two more years.


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