91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Republicans bash Amash, mostly praise Trump in primary debate for Congressional seat

Dustin Dwyer
Michigan Radio
Republican candidates for the 2020 race for the third congressional district debate Monday night.

Republicans debated last night in Grand Rapids for the chance to represent their party against Independent Congressman Justin Amash in 2020.

There were six candidates:

"I do have I believe the broadest base of experience,” said Lynn Afendoulis, a state House representative who says she also has extensive experience in the business community.  

“I was the first candidate to file against Justin Amash,” said Tom Norton, of Sand Lake. “I filed because we weren’t being represented at all.”

“Beginning from day one, I supported our president,” said Joel Langlois, a business person who owns the DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids. “I’m really the only one on this stage that can say that honestly.”

“I can’t think of any Trump policy that I don’t agree with,” said Andrew Willis, a pastor who said he also believes Republicans should reach out to those who don’t support Trump.

“The number one thing we can do for our military is stop putting them in stupid conflicts overseas,” said Peter Meijer, a military veteran and grandson of Fred Meijer, who founded the superstore chain.

“I’m the only one up here that represents the meaty part of that bell curve: the moderates,” said Joe Farrington, a former school teacher and current bar owner from Ionia.

Farrington was the only one who openly criticized President Trump during the debate, calling the tax cuts ”nonsense,” and saying he thinks the border wall is a bad idea. He also drew shouts after declaring himself “pro-choice” during the debate.

Though the candidates were not all unanimous in their support of President Trump, they were unanimous in their criticism of Justin Amash.

Whoever wins the Republican Party’s nomination to run for the seat will face Amash in the general election in 2020.

Two Democrats, Hillary Scholten and Nick Colvin are also running for the seat. 

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
Related Content