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Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana announces run for Senate

Announcement hits ‘radical Democrats and spineless Republicans’

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said Tuesday he will run for Senate next year.
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said Tuesday he will run for Senate next year. ((Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo))

Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks kicked off his Senate campaign Tuesday morning by highlighting his conservative credentials and lashing out against “radical Democrats and spineless Republicans.”

Banks, a veteran who served in Afghanistan and strong supporter of former President Donald Trump, is seeking the Senate seat currently held by fellow Republican Mike Braun, who announced in November that he’s running for governor of Indiana.

“Indiana deserves a conservative fighter in the United States Senate,” Banks said in a campaign video announcing his run. “But the radical Democrats and the spineless Republicans are going to do everything that they can to stop me.”

Banks is the first candidate to enter the Senate race, but several other high-profile Republicans are considering bids, including Rep. Victoria Spartz and current Gov. Eric Holcomb, who is term-limited from running for reelection. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels is also weighing a run.

Banks’ announcement video leans heavily on conservative issues, emphasizing his opposition to the rights of transgender athletes and the teaching of critical race theory.

“I’ve led the fight on the House floor to keep girls’ sports for girls and to protect the unborn. And I’ve used my position on the House Armed Services and Education committees to stop Critical Race Theory and anti-Americanism from being taught in our schools and pushed on our troops,” he said. “I’ve led the fight in Congress to hold China accountable for stealing our jobs and for giving us COVID.”

After Republicans won House control in November, Banks sought to become House majority whip, the No. 3 spot in party leadership, but lost an election in the GOP conference to Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota.

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