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State Senator’s Wife Seeks To Fill Seat While He’s Deployed

Amanda Banks plans to fill in for District 17 Senator Jim Banks who is being deployed to Afghanistan.

Amanda Banks photo

Photo: Friends of Amanda Banks

Amanda Banks is the vice president for Allen County Righ to Life.

Amanda Banks announced Thursday she’ll seek to keep her husband Jim’s state Senate seat in the family when he’s deployed to Afghanistan this fall.

Columbia City Republican Jim Banks announced earlier this month that, starting in September, he will be deployed to Afghanistan in his role as a Naval Reserve Officer.

Banks is unopposed in November’s election and the seven month deployment means he will miss the entire 2015 legislative session. But rather than resign, a provision in state law allows Banks to take a leave of absence.  Precinct committeemen in his district will temporarily fill his seat, and Banks’ wife Amanda hopes to take on that role.

Amanda has long been active in politics, in the past as a policy analyst for a conservative organization and currently as the vice president of Allen County Right to Life.

She says she’s running to fill her husband’s seat because it’s a good way to contribute while he’s deployed, like so many other military spouses do. Amanda also says she thinks it would be a positive experience for their three young daughters, who would stay with her at her family’s home in Indianapolis during session.

“My children are young enough that it is going to be I think a good experience for them to possibly move to Indianapolis to be with their grandma for four months and see me go off to work and fill in for daddy,” Amanda Banks says.

Amanda Banks says she’s reaching out to precinct committeemen, many of whom she already knows as she’s traveled the district with her husband.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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