- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Former President Donald Trump threw his support behind Rep. Jim Banks on Tuesday for the U.S. Senate in Indiana.

Mr. Trump, who is running for president in 2024, said he was compelled to endorse Mr. Banks, a fellow Republican, over their shared political and ideological goals.

“I know Jim well, have seen him tested at the highest and most difficult levels, and win,” the former president wrote on Truth Social. “Strong on the border, crime, our military, and our vets, Jim will fight for low taxes and regulations, sanity in government, and our under siege 2nd Amendment.”

Mr. Trump offered his endorsement one day after former Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniel passed on the race. The decision is seen as a boon to Mr. Banks, who has served in the House since 2017.

Mr. Banks catapulted to national attention over the past two years as leader of the Republican Study Committee. The group, comprised of more than 150 House Republicans, plays a large role in helping shape policy and messaging for the GOP Conference.

Under Mr. Banks, the RSC spearheaded opposition to President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package and other big spending programs. Initially, Mr. Banks hoped to ride his success in leading the group to a position within the House leadership as GOP whip.

Despite running a strong campaign for the post, Mr. Banks lost to Rep. Tom Emmer, a Minnesota Republican who ran the GOP’s official campaign arm last cycle. Still, Mr. Banks increasingly signaled his intention to run for the Senate.

The seat became open late last year when GOP Sen. Mike Braun, who was elected in 2018, announced he would run for governor of Indiana. Mr. Braun, a fiscal hawk, has yet to endorse a successor.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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