Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., told Newsmax on Tuesday he will be entering Indiana's Senate race in 2024, an opening created when Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said he will not seek reelection to run for governor that year.
Banks, a four-term representative from Indiana's 3rd Congressional District, is a member and former chair of the conservative House Republican Study Committee. He told "Spicer & Co." that because Braun is a solid conservative, it is important to have another conservative fill his seat.
"I've been a conservative leader in the House the last six years, and I want to go to the Senate to be a conservative fighter for our Hoosier conservative family values," said Banks, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump. "This is an opportunity to do that. The seat is open. I'm excited about it."
He said he expects the Republican primary field in 2024 to be crowded and believes the party's establishment wing is recruiting candidates to oppose him. It has been widely reported former two-term Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, the president of Purdue University who is considered an "old guard" Republican, will run in the primary, although Daniels has not publicly stated an intention to enter the race.
Banks, who fought in Afghanistan in the Navy Reserve from 2014-'15, said there are no second thoughts about going from the House, where Republicans have the majority and can block any Democrat-led agenda, to the Senate, where Republicans are in the minority.
"I want to do everything I can to help win back the Senate majority," Banks said.
Banks, who has daughters ages 13, 11, and 9, said cultural issues such as abortion, critical race theory and fighting against "the radical transgender movement" will be key to his Senate campaign.
"I'm not going to back down from the culture fights in this country to preserve our American way of life," he said. "That's a big reason why I want to go to the Senate to fight against critical race theory, anti-Americanism, the radical transgender movement that's trying to take rights and opportunities away from my daughters."
Critical race theory is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the concept in which race is a socially constructed category ingrained in American law intended to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It holds that the U.S. society is inherently or systemically racist.
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