Political candidates lining up for open seats

State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) and Republican Pam Galloway will run for the Indiana 3rd District seat.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Despite the 2016 Primary Election being a year away, several candidates are lining up for open seats to serve Indiana voters.

With the announcement of Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) not seeking re-election in 2016, political dominoes are already falling in 2015.

For Indiana GOP Chairman Eric Holcomb was the first to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat. Saturday, Rep. Marlin Stutzman (IN-3rd) announced his intentions to seek the open seat. Stutzman lost the 2010 primary to Coats – who came out of retirement to eventually reclaim his old seat.

Republican Eric Holcomb announced he will run for U.S. Senate after Senator Dan Coats announced he will not seek re-election in 2016.
Republican Eric Holcomb announced he will run for U.S. Senate after Senator Dan Coats announced he will not seek re-election in 2016.

With Stuztman’s announcement, it opened the Indiana 3rd District seat. Monday, two republican names surfaced for the race.

Retired physician and republican Pam Galloway announced she will run. Galloway, a former Wisconsin state senator now lives in Kosciusko County and recently ran the campaign that elected Rep. Curt Nisly (R-22nd) to the Indiana House. Galloway resigned from the Wisconsin legislature in 2012 due to family health issues. At the time, Galloway was facing a recall election to democrat Rep. Donna Seidel, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Galloway’s resignation cost the GOP their Senate majority. Galloway was elected to the Wisconsin Senate in 2010, beating then-Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker in a GOP wave for the state.

Also expected to enter the 3rd District race is current State Senator Jim Banks (R-Columbia City). Banks did not serve in this year’s legislature due to an eight month military deployment to Afghanistan. His wife, Amanda, won a GOP caucus to fill the seat in the interim. Banks returned from his U.S. Navy Reserve deployment in April and submitted his letter of reinstatement to the Indiana Senate last week. Banks was first elected in 2010 and won re-election in 2014. Banks, a commercial real estate broker, has set a noon Tuesday campaign announcement at the Allen County GOP Headquarters.

If Banks is elected to Congress, that would again leave an opening for the State Senate District 17 seat. The seat isn’t on the ballot until 2018 and another caucus would be held to fill the vacancy, possibly again by Amanda Banks.

State Senator Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne) told NewsChannel 15 on Saturday she is, “very much interested in running from the 3rd Congressional District seat.” However, a formal announcement has not been scheduled. Brown defeated three candidates in the 2014 GOP Primary and eventually won the Nov. election to the Indiana Senate.

The Indiana 3rd Congressional District includes portions of Kosciusko and Blackford counties and all of Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Jay, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley counties.

No area democrats have announced intentions to run for the open U.S. Senate seat or the 3rd District Congressional seat. Republicans have mostly held the 3rd District seat for the better part of four decades.

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