As Rep. Justin Amash’s decision to seek the Libertarian Party nomination for president this November has created an open seat in Congress, candidates vying to represent Michigan’s Third District are picking up momentum ahead of Election Day.


Amash, I-Cascade, has represented the district since 2011, but now, Republican and Democratic candidates are adding endorsements and fundraising dollars in their effort to replace him.


Peter Meijer, a former U.S. Army Veteran and son of Meijer CEO Hank Meijer, has added several key endorsements in the past weeks.


In addition to endorsements from the influential DeVos family and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise officially endorsed Meijer on Wednesday, May 6.


“I’m honored by his endorsement of my campaign and I can’t wait to work with him in Congress,” Meijer said in a statement following Scalise’s endorsement.


Meijer, Michigan State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis and former Sand Lake Village manager Tom Norton are vying for the Republican nomination in the statewide primary this August.


On the Democratic side of the aisle, Grand Rapids-based immigration attorney Hillary Scholten has garnered endorsements from the environmentally-focused League of Conservation Voters and pro-choice group Emily’s List.


On Wednesday, the Scholten campaign announced that in the week since Amash announced his intentions for the White House, the campaign has received over $100,000 in contributions from supporters.


"I've been blown away by the groundswell of support we've received since last Tuesday,“ she said in a statement. ”This campaign has always been about bringing effective and service-oriented representation to the people of West Michigan, and I'm humbled by the way our grassroots supporters are showing up to ensure that we will have the resources we need to get this done.“


There is a possibility that Amash could re-enter the race, as Michigan’s filing deadline for independent candidates isn’t until July. Michigan’s statewide primary is in August.


— Contact reporter Arpan Lobo at alobo@hollandsentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @arpanlobo.