When a marriage is dead, it's dead, and Justin Amash had only been "going through the motions" as a Republican for years before finally publicly breaking with the party earlier this month.
That's what the West Michigan congressman tells The Detroit News in a story published today. It's his first interview with a Michigan news source since his July 4 Washington Post op-ed declaring his intention to run as an independent.
His growing estrangement from the party dates from well before the Mueller report dropped in April, but that document gave him grounds to call for the impeachment of President Trump and, a few weeks later, to formally leave.
"I always felt like there was an opportunity to turn things around within the party, and over the last several months it's become clear to me that that's not really possible."
"How many years are you going to try to change the system from within before you realize you have to try a different way? So this was the time to do it. ... You just have to try something else."
"People are sick of these parties. The plurality and maybe the majority of people in my district are independent-minded," he said.
Amash sounds fairly confident in his chances for re-election as an independent:
"The more filings the better," Amash said with a laugh. "I was in good shape in the primary. When you look at how the vote was dividing up, you have six pro-Trump candidates and you have a one who's pro-Constitution. I think that puts me in the driver's seat.
To run for a sixth term with no party affiliation, Amash needs at least 3,000 valid petition signatures from registered voters by July 16, 2020.