Banks easily wins 3rd District Congressional seat

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Jim Banks is headed to U.S. Congress.

Banks, a Republican state senator from Whitley County, was elected to represent northeastern Indiana’s strongly GOP 3rd District. Banks easily pushed past Democrat Tommy Schrader and Libertarian Pepper Snyder Tuesday night.

Banks’ campaign issued the following statement:

I want to thank the citizens of the Third District for this tremendous honor and the opportunity to represent northeast Indiana in Congress.

Since my campaign began on May 12, 2015, I have focused on a positive, solutions-oriented agenda to address the challenges our country faces. At this critical time, we need substantive conservative leadership rather than more of the failed Washington status quo. I am excited to get to work and fight for our region’s priorities, including a stronger national defense, lower taxes, reducing spending, proper care of our veterans, real health care reform, and protecting life and religious liberty.

Serving in this new role will mean leaving another. For the past six years, I’ve had the incredible privilege of representing Indiana’s 17th Senate District. I am proud of the progress our state has made during my time as a State Senator, and I look forward to telling Washington the story of how conservative policies have worked in Indiana.

I am grateful to all in northeast Indiana who helped make tonight’s victory possible, and I look forward to being your voice in our nation’s capital.”

Banks began his political career serving as a state senator in 2010. In 2014, he invoked an Indiana state law which allows local officeholders to take a leave of absence to serve in the military. He served as a U.S. Navy officer.

Banks ran on a platform for a strong national defense system, market-based healthcare reform, religious freedom, pro-life legislation, pro-gun legislation, and restriction of tax increases. In the Indiana Statehouse, Banks voted in favor of amending abortion regulations, repealing ISTEP testing, requiring drug testing for certain welfare recipients, and prohibiting unauthorized entry on industrial or agricultural properties. He voted against measures such as authorizing certain undocumented students to receive in-state tuition, authorizing funding for a mass transit system in Indiana, and expanding Medicaid.

Banks will replace Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman.