ELECTION PREVIEW: Amash faces GOP challenger in primary

By Curtis Wildfong • Last Updated 10:12 am on Monday, August 04, 2014

Justin Amash

Brian Ellis

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, is running for his third term as the congressman for Michigan’s 3rd District.

Amash will face challenger Brian Ellis for the Republican win in Tuesday’s primary election. The winner of Tuesday’s election will face Democrat Bob Goodrich of Kentwood in November’s general election.

The 3rd District covers portions of Barry, Calhoun, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties.

Amash was born in Grand Rapids and earned his bachelor’s degree with high honors in economics from the University of Michigan and his law degree from University of Michigan Law School. He worked for his family’s business as a business lawyer and served as a state representative before being elected to U.S. Congress in 2010.

According to Amash’s online biography, he has never missed a vote in Congress or in the Michigan Legislature out of more than 4,000 roll call votes.

“Justin believes government overspending is one of the biggest threats to our economic health and national security, and he has introduced an innovative balanced budget amendment — the Business Cycle Balanced Budget Amendment — to control government spending and reduce the national debt. He supports a fair and simple tax code and a regulatory environment that promotes economic prosperity,” his website states. “As an ardent defender of Americans’ civil liberties, Justin has been a leading critic of the unconstitutional, suspicionless mass collection of all Americans’ phone records, the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act and the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.”

Amash is a member of the Joint Economic Committee and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He serves on the OGR subcommittees on National Security and Government Operations. Amash chairs the House Liberty Caucus.

Challenging him for the two-year term is Ellis, a small business owner from Grand Rapids.

Ellis founded Brooktree Capital Management, an investment advisory firm that helps individuals and families oversee their personal financial portfolios. He has been involved in the financial services industry for the past 17 years.

Prior to that, Ellis worked in the food processing business as president and owner of a Grand Rapids area food processor, employing more than 200 individuals.

Ellis “strongly supports the Balanced Budget Amendment and repealing ObamaCare,” his website states. “Brian is 100 percent pro-life, pro-second amendment and will work to advance conservative solutions to help hardworking taxpayers and build a brighter future.

“We desperately need more leaders in Congress who listen to the people and work to reverse the wrong course President Obama is taking our nation.”

Amash and Ellis did not respond to several attempts to contact them for comment for this story.

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