FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Indiana Republican Sen. Andy Zay will announce his run for the third district U.S. House of Representatives seat that Rep. Jim Banks will leave as he runs for U.S. Senate in 2024.

Zay has a hometown press conference planned for 2 p.m. Thursday at Nick’s Kitchen, 506 N. Jefferson Street, in Huntington, where Dan Quayle launched several successful campaigns years before.

During an interview Wednesday with WANE 15, Zay said he wanted to announce his candidacy ahead of what he expects to be a “competitive primary.”

“There will be a lot of folks, I think, looking, and they already are looking at the seat,” Zay said. “It’s an important seat. It’s an important seat for Indiana, [and] it’s an important seat for our country.”

Zay identified his “unique background” as a main reason he will stand out among other Republican candidates in the primary.

“It’s critical that we have someone that’s in touch with their communities, and that’s been the way that I really came up is through community involvement,” Zay said.

Zay also addressed controversial comments from 2015 that drew backlash at the time and said that is was “not the proudest moment.”

The seat Rep. Banks currently holds will become open after Banks announced plans to run for U.S. Senate, which came after current U.S. Sen. Mike Braun’s announcement that he plans to run for Indiana governor.

Current Governor Eric Holcomb cannot run again due to term limits.

The Federal Election Commission website showed Chandler Likes and Michael Felker have also filed to run for the Republican nomination.

Zay’s website was also already live at

The primary is May, 2024.