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US Rep. Jim Banks survives 14th Amendment challenge, stays on Indiana ballot

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — U.S. Rep. Jim Banks will remain on the ballot for the Republican primary on May 3.

His candidacy was challenged by a Democrat, Aaron Calkins, who told the Indiana Election Commission that Banks violated a portion of the 14th Amendment, which says anyone who has taken an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution and then engages in an insurrection can be barred or removed from office.

Caulkins said Banks made statements on national television on Jan. 6, 2021, that encouraged the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.  

Banks’ lawyer, Paul Mullins, argued the Indiana Election Commission did not have authority to decide on the matter. Mullins said the argument is best-reserved for a courtroom. 

Banks is one of two Republican members of Congress facing 14th Amendment challenges to remain on 2022 ballots; the other is Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina.

Banks, who is from Columbia City, is the only Republican on the GOP primary ballot for District 3, which covers northeast Indiana including the cities of Fort Wayne, Huntington, Montpelier, Portland and Warsaw.

Calkins is one of four people on the May 3 ballot for the Democratic primary in Indiana’s U.S. House District 3.