The race is on for Michigan’s 3rd District in 2018, as a local Grand Rapids native announced his candidacy for Congress. Democrat Jeff Thomas of Grand Rapids is the owner of a web design and development business and also runs a local non-profit that looks to improve the effectiveness of the charitable food distribution system.
“I’m running for Congress because I’m concerned like many Americans about the direction this country has taken," Thomas said. "I want to fight to ensure that our government defends the rights and serves the needs of all of its people, not just the rich and well connected.”
Thomas said his campaign will focus on political fairness, improving education, and the health care system.
“We still have too many people in this country who either still do not have health insurance, despite the progress made by the Affordable Care Act, or who have health insurance on paper but can’t afford to actually use it because of the high deductibles,” he said.
Thomas will look to take the seat currently held by Republican Congressman Justin Amash. Thomas said he was surprised that Amash voted for the American Health Care Act despite having been outspoken against President Donald Trump's initial health care policies.
“Congressman Amash had been very critical of the first version of the bill," Thomas said. "So seeing him turn around and vote for a version that was really only modestly different was really a shock to me, and to a lot of the people here in the district,” he said.
WGVU reached out to Congressman Amash’s office for his reaction to news of a challenger in the next election. His camp had no comment.