Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) said on Tuesday he would not run for Indiana Senate, clearing the path for Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) to become the frontrunner to replace the outgoing Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN).
“After what I hope was adequate reflection, I’ve decided not to become a candidate for the U.S. Senate,” Daniels explained in a statement to Politico. “With full credit and respect for the institution and those serving in it, I conclude that it’s just not the job for me, not the town for me, and not the life I want to live at this point.”
“Maybe I can find ways to contribute that do not involve holding elective office. If not, there is so much more to life. People obsessed with politics or driven by personal ambition sometimes have difficulty understanding those who are neither,” Daniels continued.
Should Daniels have entered the race, it would have sparked a costly Republican battle over the ruby red Senate seat that would distract Republicans from trying to flip over seats during the 2024 cycle. The battle would have also likely been a contest the more establishment and George W. Bush wing of the GOP and the more MAGA-leaning Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).
Daniels decision to withdraw has led more Republicans across the political spectrum to back Banks’ bid.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) vowed that Republicans in the House are “going to do everything that we can” to block the Biden administration from paying into any global climate reparations fund. https://t.co/NOhw0tVVZO
“I have the utmost respect for the years of service Governor Daniels has given to Indiana and wish him well in the future. I’m looking forward to working with one of our top recruits this cycle, Jim Banks, to keep Indiana red in 2024,” National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman Steve Daines (R-MT) said in a written statement on Tuesday.
Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), the freshman populist Republican, also reportedly endorsed Banks on Tuesday.
The conservative Club for Growth PAC President also endorsed Banks bid, saying he is a “proven conservative” and a “champion” for liberty.
Stephen Miller, a former senior advisor to Trump, said, “Jim Banks is a true American patriot.”
Banks told Breitbart News Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle on that he hopes to join the ranks of Sens. Vance and Tom Cotton (R-AR) to be a part of the next generation of conservative leaders of the Senate:
I’ve been a leading conservative in the House on issues like securing the border and on America First policies like getting immigration policies to put American workers first and foreign policy that puts America First over the interests of other countries. The national debt, $32 trillion, is greatly concerning to me when I see the Senate passed a $1.7 trillion omnibus bill without any fight against it in the Senate. As one of the most fiscally conservative members of the House, it makes me angry. It’s why I want to go to the Senate, to shake it up and be a part of the next generation of conservative leaders like Tom Cotton, J.D. Vance, and others who are over there fighting the fight. I want to go join.
The Senate badly needs a new generation of conservative leaders who understand that we have to tackle the China threat. There are too many Republicans who are beholden to big business and multinational corporations interested in selling us out to China.
He added, “I want to be a Republican voice in the Senate, just like I have [been] in the House, that helps Republicans realize that we are representing working-class Americans when we hold China accountable and fight back against what China is trying to do to the American economy.”
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.
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