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Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., at the Capitol on June 9, 2022.
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., at the Capitol on June 9, 2022.Francis Chung / E&E News/POLITICO via AP file

Rep. Jim Banks' Senate run jump- starts Indiana GOP primary

Banks announced Tuesday he is running to succeed GOP Sen. Mike Braun, who is running for governor.


Rep. Jim Banks' announcement Tuesday that he is running for Senate in Indiana kicks off a potentially crowded GOP primary, with one of Banks' House colleagues also eyeing a run.

GOP Sen. Mike Braun's decision to run for governor opened up the Senate seat. GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz told the Muncie Star Press in December that she had been asked to consider running.

Former Gov. Mitch Daniels is also considered a potential Senate candidate, although the conservative Club for Growth Action has pledged to oppose Daniels if he runs. The group's PAC quickly endorsed Banks on Tuesday, with the group's president, David McIntosh, saying in a statement that they will "spend whatever it takes to help Banks secure the nomination and victory."

Other potential GOP Senate candidates include former Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, who retired last year after three terms in the House and could self-fund his campaign, and Jennifer-Ruth Green, an Air Force Reservist who ran unsuccessfully for the House in 2022.

A crowded GOP primary could fuel a race to the right in a state that has shifted towards Republicans in recent election cycles. Former President Donald Trump carried the state by 16 percentage points in 2020.

The state is no stranger to a competitive, and divisive, GOP Senate primary. Braun emerged from a bruising Senate primary in 2018 where multiple candidates painted themselves as most loyal to Trump, who did not endorse in the primary that year.