The first Libertarian Congressman?
In 2016 and 2020, Senator Bernie Sanders sought the Democratic Party nomination for the presidential elections of those years, and yet he still remained an independent member of the Senate. Joining the Democratic Party to seek the Democratic nomination did not automatically make him a Democratic senator.
I make this point because independent Representative Justin Amash has officially joined the Libertarian Party in an effort to be their nominee for the 2020 presidential election. Like Sanders, Amash could simply seek the party's nomination for president while retaining his independence in Congress, or he could make history as the first federal office holder to hold his office as a Libertarian.
Ron Paul has technically been a lifelong member of the Libertarian Party since his 1988 presidential run as the Libertarian nominee, but he held his Congressional seat in the 90's and 2000's as a Republican.
It may not be as good as getting a Libertarian Party candidate elected to the House of Representatives, but having a sitting member of the House switch their affiliation to the Libertarian Party would still be a huge boon to the party. Both their credibility and fundraising would, one assumes, see an uptick as people saw a Libertarian actually working in the federal government.
The current frontrunner for the Libertarian Party nomination, Jacob Hornberger, has criticized Amash for his perceived lack of dedication to the Libertarian Party.
How many LP conventions has Congressman Justin Amash attended in the last year? None. How many LP presidential debates has Amash participated in? None.
In fact, the very obvious reason that Amash has not attended LP state conventions and participated in LP presidential debates is that he does not want to subject his conservative positions to scrutiny, examination, and challenge by LP members and the other candidates for the LP presidential nomination.
Keep in mind that Amash secretly suspended his campaign for reelection to Congress in mid-February. At that point, he could have formally entered the race for the LP presidential nomination and begun attending LP state conventions and participating in LP presidential debates.
He chose not to do that. Instead, he kept the suspension of his congressional campaign secret for two months. By leading people believe that he was still running for reelection to Congress, he was able to avoid delaying entry into the LP presidential race and participating in LP presidential debates during the time of the secret suspension.
Amash could, at least partially, blunt this type of critique going forward by championing the Libertarian Party as a sitting member of Congress, and becoming the first Libertarian Congressman in U.S. history.