Rep. Justin Amash was supposed to be an easy target for GOP centrists. He is on his way to an easy victory.
By David Weigel
JULY 24 2014 7:43 PM
IONIA, Mich.—The annual parade and fair, which locals claim is the largest free fest of its kind, occupies most of the main street and all of a nearby park. By 11 a.m. the best seats along the parade route are taken, and the free sidewalk space has been chalked up, courtesy of a nearby church, with suggested prayers and Bible verses. As the crowd sweats, the grand marshal reminds everyone to return in August for a Vietnam veteran motorcycle ride. “They didn’t really get the respect they deserved when they returned home,” he says. “Let’s make it up to them.”
A few blocks away, at the back of the parade route, the local congressman who has been called “al-Qaida’s best friend” is getting plenty of respect. Rep. Justin Amash, whose libertarian voting record supposedly made him a soft target for more hawkish Republicans, is finding no one who agrees with his opponents’ attacks.
“I don’t know why they just don’t deal with honest facts,” says one elderly voter.
“It’s backfiring on ’em,” says Amash.
A propane salesman named Don Rittersdorf asks why Amash’s opponent, a businessman named Brian Ellis, is being so vicious. “Right out of the gate, he was attackin’!” he says. “I was like, holy cow!”
“It’s just that time of year,” says Amash.