FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Allen Circuit Court Judge Wendy Davis, 56, threw her hat – and robe – in the ring Tuesday to represent Indiana’s third Congressional district in 2024 as a Republican.

She will leave the bench to launch her campaign to replace Jim Banks, who is running for U.S. Senate after Mike Braun announced he would run for Indiana governor.

Before her announcement, Davis told WANE 15 she had spent 12 years as a judge reacting to problems with an oath to stay politically neutral.

“But with things going downhill in our country, with Joe Biden in the White House, I have seen firsthand the problems in America,” Davis said, pointing to the flood of cases in her court that involve either addiction, poor mental health, immigration or families who are struggling financially.

“It is my time now as a conservative woman to step out, be proactive, and fight for the America that I grew up in.”

Davis joined State Senator Andy Zay of Huntington in the race, which some observers expect to require fundraising of $750,000 or more.

Judge Wendy Davis announced at Allen County Republican headquarters that she will leave the bench to run for Congress.

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

Despite what is expected to be a crowded field, Davis said she isn’t focused on the other candidates.

“I’m focusing on me winning this race and ensuring I can go to Washington truthfully with my Christian conservative, fiscally conservative values, and honestly make a difference.”

The primary is May 7, 2024.