Democrat announces bid for Indiana’s 3rd District seat

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Democrat John Stephens is running for Indiana’s 3rd District Congressional seat because he believes incumbent Rep. Jim Banks isn’t representing Hoosiers properly.

“I don’t think he is doing a very good job of listening to Hoosiers and taking those concerns to Washington D.C.,” Stephens said. “He is holding a culture war right now which is all about teaching us to hate people and teaching us to be angry with people.”


Rep. Banks was first elected in 2016 and has held the 3rd District seat for nearly three terms. Since then, the Democrats have thrown various challengers his way in hopes of taking his seat. Back in 2018, Courtney Tritch gave it a try, but ultimately suffered defeat, with Banks racking in 64% of votes compared to her 34%. Two years later, public school educator Chip Coldiorn made an effort, but endured the same fate, losing by a bigger margin.

Now, only seven months after Banks’ re-election, a new opponent has entered the race, hopeful that he can take on Goliath.

“I think more and more Hoosiers are starting to see that he is not doing a good job for us, and we can really spend time talking about kitchen table issues, we can talk about educating our kids, we can talk about healthcare, and fair wages,” Stephens said. “That resonates with everybody, this isn’t as Republican as people believe.”

Stephens told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that his platform is based around immigration. He said every American’s roots date back to immigrants and that immigration has built a great country.

“We need to continue to make immigration accessible, easy and legal for everyone in the United States,” Stephens said.

FILE: Rep. Jim Banks

Another issue he would like to tackle are the unions. He believes that Indiana’s right-to-work laws are bad for workers. He said he wants to fight for union rights to strike and collectively bargaining.

“I will always be available to them, we are going to talk to voters constantly,” Stephens said. “Right now, I don’t feel like we have any contact with our representative unless we pay him for that contact.”

Stephens added that Democrats gets things done, and that message needs to go to Washington.

Congressman Jim Banks wasn’t available for an interview, but he sent this statement:

“We just got through an election and right now I’m focused on pushing back against Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi’s radical and dangerous socialist policies. I will focus on the campaign next year.”  

Rep. Jim Banks (In-3rd District)

The next Congressional election will be held 2022.

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