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3rd District Democrats Organizing Early For 2022 Race

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Zach Bernard/WBOI News
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Despite the next Indiana election still being more than 18 months away, Democrats in the 3rd District are already organizing in an effort to unseat Republican congressional representative Jim Banks.

Banks has served the district since 2016, replacing Marlin Stutzman. He rather handily defeated Democratic candidates Courtney Tritch in 2018 and Chip Coldiron in 2020 to maintain his seat in the U.S. Congress.

But local Democrats are hoping to seize on the momentum of Joe Biden’s White House win last November by organizing for 2022 now, and several possible candidates have already stepped forward

Political operative John Stephens officially announced his candidacy Saturday afternoon, to a small, socially-distanced crowd of a couple dozen at the United Auto Workers Hall in Roanoke before hosting a brief town hall.

Stephens used his announcement to express strong support for union labor, and cited his desire to help move Indiana towards progress.

“Together we can make it easier to pursue the American Dream. Together we will make changes in America, and it is time for that change,” said Stephens.

Coldiron -- who lost to Banks by taking home only 32% of the vote -- issued a Facebook announcement last week indicating that while he has not made a final decision about running again, he is considering it and will make an official announcement in the spring.

These announcements are historically very early in the election cycle; for example, Banks stated his intent to run for Stutzman’s seat 15 months before the 2016 election, while Tritch announced her candidacy 14 months ahead of time, in July of 2017.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.