James Lower is a man on a mission. The 30-year old state representative from Ionia, Michigan is challenging anti-Trump Republican congressman Justin Amash in the 3rd congressional district primary in August 2020. In a hotbed of Trump supporters embittered by Washington’s globalist policies, James Lower has become something of a working-class hero.
“People want this guy out. I don’t know why Amash even runs as a Republican,” Lower tells Big League Politics on the heels of a wild Squash Amash rally outside Amash’s office. “There was a ton of excitement there. The voters in the district are angry. 80 to 90 percent completely disagree with Amash. After ten years, his voting record just doesn’t make any sense.”
“We were gearing up to run even prior to the impeachment comments,” Lower said of Amash, who joins Democrats in wanting to impeach Trump, and who even cast the only Republican vote against Kate’s Law named for the late Kate Steinle to protect our people from illegal alien crime. “I’ve been totally disenchanted with the fact that he hasn’t gotten anything done, and he always finds some excuse for it. It seems like there’s always an excuse.”
When it comes to Amash, Lower pulls no punches, but his calm Midwest demeanor makes it impossible for him to come off angry. His barbs at Amash, a man Lower views as a hypocrite, seem level-headed, earnest. Just plain real.
In little over a month, Lower has rocketed to national grassroots prominence with the backing of the vaunted Tea Party Strategy Group — a network of win-at-all-costs populist activists who have been making political miracles happen since 2009. Don Trump Junior tweeted out a poll showing Lower in the lead over Amash, hinting, “See you soon Justin…I hear Michigan is beautiful during primary season.” Small-dollar donations are pouring in. As far away as Richmond, the mere mention of Lower’s name drew wild applause at the Virginia Tea Party Summit Saturday attended by Trump’s beloved economist Steve Moore.
“For state rep, I knocked every single door in the primary,” Lower said. “The tea party has always been an anti-establishment party. People try to define it as something it’s not. Trump has proved that it’s just regular everyday people who are fed up with the establishment. That’s what it was going back to 2009 and 2010, and it’s been mis-interpreted.”
“Trump is talking to voters like me in our area that had been completely devastated by NAFTA. He is re-negotiating and putting America First. That’s why there is so much overlap between the Trump Party and the Tea Party,” Lower said.
Lower scoffs at the idea that he is not a loyalist Trump supporter just because he is friends with NeverTrump former lieutenant governor Brian Calley. Lower points to an op-ed he wrote immediately after Trump’s Access Hollywood tape came out in 2016 — when all the NeverTrumpers led by Paul Ryan tried to bounce Trump from the ticket. Lower’s October 22, 2016 op-ed had a simple title: “Why I’m Voting For Trump.”
“Amash came in in 2010, and rode the tea party movement, saying let’s balance the budget. He got a lot of momentum with that. Then the big donor community in the district got behind him, thinking he would be effective. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way,” Lower said. “But he’s got a lot of his own money, he’s been there for ten years, and he can talk a good game in certain circles.”
Asked about the globalist Koch Brothers, who fund an open-borders nonprofit network masquerading as the tea party, Lower bristles, “I haven’t had any dealings with them.”
The Kochs are pushing to censor populist conservatives from the Internet in coordination with Big Tech. Lower is not a fan of wealthy elites. He is more comfortable with the people. Lower also is not a big fan of Amash’s record on the Middle East, which has “earned” Amash a 75 percent approval rating from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
“He’s consistently voted against Israel, be it funding for Israel or any issues related to supporting Israel. What he used was a bogus excuse based on his interpretation of the Constitution,” Lower said.
“We have an opportunity to beat him by a lot, if the race remains how it is. Amash me and Norton I think we end up beating him in a landslide,” Lower said, pointing to a coalition comprised of Second Amendment supporters and most prominently, Trump voters. “That’s what our polling is showing, that’s what third party polling is showing.”
Lower’s proudest accomplishment in the state legislature was spearheading an effort to stop sanctuary cities.
“I definitely would have voted the exact opposite of Amash, he opposed ICE, he opposed funding for the border wall,” Lower said.
“I took up this sanctuary city ban as a state lawmaker. We had these bills to ban sanctuary cities. Lansing the capital became a sanctuary city. Even though there was just broad-based support we weren’t able to get them through the state house but Lansing actually reversed course, as a result of the work we did. I’ve been very strong on border security. I support the Wall and all the things that President Trump is doing on illegal immigration,” Lower said.
“Congress clearly is not going to do anything about border security. I’d like to get with the Trump administration on this issue,” Lower said. “I’d like to work on concurrently with that, this issue of unfunded liabilities and national debt. As Republicans we have not been talking about this enough. President Trump and others have done such a good job on the economy, so it’s time to talk about balancing the budget and paying down our national debt. That’s an issue that gets worse and worse each day.”
Not surprisingly, Jim Lower does not plan on moving his wife and two small children — both under two years of age — to the Swamp if he gets elected to Congress.
“I plan on going back and forth as a congressman,” Lower says of his possible future commute.
“We both really love Michigan.”
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