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Banks' wife wants to fill senator's job temporarily

INDIANAPOLIS – Amanda Banks, wife of Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, announced Thursday she will run to fill her husband’s vacancy in the Indiana Senate while he is deployed to Afghanistan during the 2015 legislative session.

“It would be an honor to serve in my husband’s place and represent the people of the 17th Senate District while Jim serves our country overseas,” Amanda Banks said in a statement. “I believe my background in public policy and communications, combined with my experience as a full-time mother of three busy girls and as a military wife, will bring a unique perspective to the State Senate.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to travel throughout the district with my husband over the past five years, getting to know the people who live and work here, and some of the issues most important to them. If elected, I look forward to learning more and representing the district with integrity in the 2015 legislative session.”

Sen. Banks, a U.S. Navy reserve supply corps officer, has been called to active duty in Afghanistan beginning in September. He is expected to return in early May 2015.

He is unopposed in his re-election campaign and will remain on the general election ballot. After he is re-elected in November, he will take the oath of office on Skype and then submit a leave of absence from the Senate for the length of his deployment. Precinct committeemen from the 17th Senate District will then elect a temporary replacement in a caucus.

Amanda Banks, 34, graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in public affairs. She worked as federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family from 2003 to 2007 and as communications manager for the American Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region from 2008 to 2010.

Since 2010, she has been a full-time wife and mother of three daughters. She is the vice president of Allen County Right to Life and is co-host of “I Choose Life News and Views,” a weekly radio program.

“The people of the 17th District can expect authentic, conservative leadership from me,” Amanda Banks said. “I will be available to hear their concerns and opinions as I endeavor to bring a consistent, yet fresh point of view to the Statehouse.”