Michigan Rep. Justin Amash announced that he is launching an exploratory committee for a Libertarian presidential bid on Tuesday, CNN reports.
Amash quit the Republican Party in response to President Donald Trump’s actions and rhetoric and has served as the lone independent in the House of Representatives ever since.
But he faces a tough reelection battle in Michigan, where the Republican Party is eager to defeat him.
Amash, who was elected in the 2010 tea party wave and was one of the founding members of the House Freedom Caucus, has been a staunch libertarian in Congress but has increasingly voted with Democrats when it comes to issues related to Trump.
Amash, the son of a Syrian immigrant and a Palestinian refugee, supported Trump’s impeachment and repeatedly criticized the president’s divisive rhetoric.
"Americans are ready for practical approaches based in humility and trust of the people," Amash said in his announcement. "We're ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together. I'm excited and honored to be taking these first steps toward serving Americans of every background as president."
The move comes after Amash teased earlier this month that he was looking “closely” at a third-party bid.
Amash would have to win the Libertarian Party’s nomination at their upcoming convention in Texas.
In 2016, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson drew 3% of the vote.
Amash hits back at Trump:
The announcement came after Amash pushed back on Trump’s claim that "when somebody's president of the United States, the authority is total, and that's the way it's got to be."
"Americans who believe in limited government deserve another option," Amash said in response.
In 2019, he told CNN that he considered running for president "because there is a big problem with the current two-party system we have, and someone has to shake it up."
"Now, is it possible for anyone to shake it up and make a difference?" he said. "I don't know."