Rep. Justin Amash (L-Mich.) said that he was dropping out of the 2020 presidential race on Saturday, less than three weeks after he announced his surprise bid.
“I’ve spent nearly three weeks assessing the race, appearing in media, talking to delegates and donors, watching the Libertarian Party’s convention plan unfold, and gathering feedback from family, friends, and other advisers,” Amash tweeted.
“After much reflection, I’ve concluded that circumstances don’t lend themselves to my success as a candidate for president this year, and therefore I will not be a candidate,” he said.
Amash left the Republican party last July, a decision that came after long expressing his discomfort with where the party was headed.
In May 2019, Amash became the first Republican in Congress to support efforts to impeach Trump. He has served five terms in Congress.
“In recent years, though, I’ve become disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it,” Amash wrote in a Washington Post op-ed at the time. “The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”
Amash said he would be running for the presidency on April 28, though sources close to the congressman told HuffPost’s Matt Fuller that he had wanted to announce his bid as early as Constitution Day on Sept. 17, 2019.
That same month, Amash registered with the Libertarian Party, becoming the first member of Congress from that party.
“We’re ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together,” Amash tweeted after announcing his run. “I’m excited and honored to be taking these first steps toward serving Americans of every background as president.”
Amash said he was leaving the race, in part, because of social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, which “means lesser known candidates are more dependent on adequate media opportunities to reach people.”
The congressman encouraged people to join the Libertarian Party, which he said he remained invested in helping.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that Amash is an independent. He is a member of the Libertarian Party.