Rep. Jim Banks Running for US Senate Seat Representing Indiana

Rep. Jim Banks Running for US Senate Seat Representing Indiana
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) speaks to the media with members of the Republican Study Committee about Iran in Washington on April 21, 2021. (Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) on Jan. 17 said he’s running for U.S. Senate, seeking to succeed Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.).

“Radical, socialist Democrats are trying to change America, but I won’t let them,” Banks, 43, said in a campaign video. “I’ve been on the front lines fighting for America first policies in Congress.”

Banks, a military veteran, has sponsored or backed legislation aiming to secure the border, hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for “stealing jobs,” prevent biological males from participating in youth female sports, and prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in schools and the military.

In a preview of a possible break from Senate GOP leadership, which has drawn growing opposition from newer senators, Banks said that some Republicans would oppose his bid.

“Indiana deserves a conservative fighter in the United States Senate, but the radical Democrats and the spineless Republicans are going to do everything they can to stop me,” Banks said.

Banks was among the House Republicans who were critical of the Senate GOP for agreeing to pass a mammoth spending bill in late 2022 instead of fighting to delay negotiations until January, when Republicans took control of the lower chamber.

The supporter of former President Donald Trump is the first candidate to enter the 2024 race, which is wide open after Braun launched a campaign for governor. Incumbent Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, cannot run for another term due to term limits.

Braun, a businessman who flipped the seat from Democrat control in the 2018 midterm elections, supported Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) over Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the first challenge McConnell faced in years.

Banks for years was the leader of the Republican Study Committee, described as “the conservative caucus of House Republicans.” He lost a bid for House majority whip to Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).

Banks was picked to be on the House of Representatives panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol, but then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected the choice, prompting House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to pull all of his picks. The committee ended up being dominated by Democrats as a result, with the only Republicans being anti-Trump Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). Cheney in August 2022 lost the Republican primary to candidate Harriet Hageman, while Kinzinger announced in 2021 he would not seek another term. Banks supported McCarthy in the contested speaker race, which saw McCarthy ultimately prevail.

Banks was first elected to the House in 2016, after serving for six years in the Indiana Senate. He represents Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District.

Banks won the 2022 election with 59 percent of the vote, down from 67.8 percent in 2020 and 64.7 percent in 2018.

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
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