Jan 17, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump ally Jim Banks is running for Senate

Rep. Jim Banks, wearing a blue suit jacket, white shirt and red tie, speaks to reporters as he walks to a Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol Visitor's Center.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.). Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) on Tuesday announced he is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.).

Why it matters: Banks, the former chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee and a vocal ally of former President Trump, is likely to be a top contender for the seat.

  • Banks began eyeing a run for the seat after Braun began laying the groundwork to run for Indiana governor, Axios reported in November.

Driving the news: Banks released a launch video Tuesday morning leaning heavily into the culture wars. In it, he vows to "fight back against the radical socialist Democrats who are trying to change America."

  • "Radical Democrats and the spineless Republicans are going to do everything they can to stop me, but I need your help in the fight to restore America," he says in the video.
  • He also rolled out endorsements from Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and two Indiana state legislators.

The backdrop: Banks' run comes after he fell just short in his run for House majority whip last November, losing by 9 votes to Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).

What we're watching: The field could get crowded, with Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), Gov. Eric Holcomb and former Gov. Mitch Daniels all signaling interest.

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