Senator Jim Banks -- His Campaign's
Mari Vogel
September 13, 2016
Senator Jim Banks -- His Campaign's "Secret Weapon"

Jim Banks has shown a dedication to service throughout his life.  As a father of three, a state Senator, and a Navy Reservist, he has proven himself a strong and value-oriented leader.  

“There is a lot of pressure to go along with the majority sentiment, but I will not go back on the pledge I made to my constituents,” said Senator Banks.  

As the State Senator for the 17th district of Indiana, he has continually been a voice for conservative principles.  Next, he hopes to continue his service to Indiana as a member of Congress.  

While in the senate, Senator Banks has served on numerous committees, most notably the Senate Veteran Affairs and the Military committee.  He believes this experience, coupled with his military service, could provide a unique perspective to the Congressional Armed Services Committee if elected in the fall. 

Senator Banks fought in a hotly contested primary this spring due to the number of other well-funded candidates and the coinciding presidential nomination which drew in many more voters.  However, due to his knowledgeable volunteers (several Leadership Institute graduates) and lean campaign strategies, he was able get his message out and win the election. 

Another thing which helped now Senator Banks through the election was his family, which he referred to as the campaign’s “secret weapon.” 

His wife, Amanda, was able to play a unique role in the campaign because of her own political experience.  As a Navy Reserve Supply Corps officer, Jim was called to Afghanistan from 2014 until 2015. While Jim was serving in Afghanistan, Amanda took over his seat in the state Senate.  During her time in office, she worked on the Veterans Affairs committee and the Education committee, where she helped author and sponsor many bills.  She also co-authored several bills in defense of the unborn. 

“Public servants cannot separate who they are from what they do,” she says, “so the various vocations I have in life as a mother, a military wife, and a conservative activist all come to the forefront when considering the issues facing our state."                                  

If he wins the election in November, Senator Banks is ready to fight for conservative values in Congress.  “I believe we need to go back to our roots and start building support around conservative solutions for our current public policy challenges,” he said.  Instead of being the “opposition party,” he sees the importance of bringing conservative proposals and ideas to the table.

Jim credits the Leadership Institute with providing a solid foundation for him as he began getting involved in politics. 

Thanks to the Grassroots Activist School and Youth Leadership School, he made connections which allowed him to work with a member of Congress and run a Mayoral campaign very early in his career. 

“The LI program didn’t just provide me with the knowledge and skills I would need to make a difference on behalf of candidates I would work with," said Senator Banks, "but it helped me connect with people who would have an important role in my career down the line.”

Mari Vogel was a summer intern in the Grassroots Department for the Leadership Institute.  The Leadership Institute offers over 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,619 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative job seekers.  Since the Institute’s 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 175,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders.  Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders.  For more information, please visit