GOP Rep. Jim Banks is consolidating support for his Indiana Senate campaign, with former Gov. Mitch Daniels deciding not to run for the open seat.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee backed Banks on Tuesday following Daniels' announcement.
“I have the utmost respect for the years of service Governor Daniels has given to Indiana and wish him well in the future," NRSC Chairman Steve Daines, R-Mont., said in a statement. "I’m looking forward to working with one of our top recruits this cycle, Jim Banks, to keep Indiana red in 2024.”
Daines has signaled that he is more willing to take sides in GOP primaries, as Republicans regroup following a disappointing midterm elections which some in the party blame on problematic nominees.
Banks had already been endorsed by the conservative group Club for Growth, which pledged to spend millions against Daniels if he jumped in the race. Daniels was openly weighing a run to replace GOP Sen. Mike Braun, who is running for governor. He even recently traveling to the nation's capital to meet with GOP senators. But Daniels ultimately decided the Senate was not for him.
“After what I hope was adequate reflection, I’ve decided not to become a candidate for the U.S. Senate,” Daniels said in a statement on Tuesday, which was first reported by Politico. “With full credit and respect for the institution and those serving in it, I conclude that it’s just not the job for me, not the town for me, and not the life I want to live at this point.”
Other Republicans have also been considered potential Senate candidates, including GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz and former GOP Rep. Trey Hollingsworth.
Republicans are likely be well-positioned to hold onto this Senate seat. Former President Donald Trump won the Hoosier State by 16 percentage points in 2020.