Representative Justin Amash, the Republican-turned-independent from Michigan, announced Tuesday night that he would explore running for president as a Libertarian, injecting new volatility into a presidential campaign already unsettled by the coronavirus.
“We’re ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together,” Mr. Amash wrote on Twitter. “I’m excited and honored to be taking these first steps toward serving Americans of every background as president.”
He posted a link to a new website, “Amash for America,” that included a quotation suggesting he was poised to run: “Let’s do this.”
A 40-year-old conservative, Mr. Amash left the G.O.P. last year because of his unease with how the party had rallied to President Trump. It’s unclear, though, whether his candidacy would help Mr. Trump by winning right-of-center voters who don’t like the president and would have reluctantly supported former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee — or if Mr. Amash would simply take votes away from the president by giving small-government conservatives a home.
What is certain, though, is that his presence on the ballot in key states could potentially play a pivotal role in November: Mr. Trump won the presidency four years ago thanks in part to the votes captured by third-party candidates.