Election panel rejects Dem attempt to remove GOP lawmaker from ballot over Jan. 6 ‘insurrection’

Rep. Jim Banks on Friday survived an attempt by a Democratic candidate to disqualify him from the ballot over the events of Jan. 6.

The Indiana Election Commission, which is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, voted unanimously to dismiss the challenge against Mr. Banks’s ballot eligibility by Aaron “A.J.” Calkins, a candidate for the Democratic nomination to take on Mr. Banks in the state’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Fort Wayne.

Mr. Calkins filed the challenge against Mr. Banks claiming the lawmaker, who chairs the Republican Study Committee, supported a “violent insurrection” and engaged in an attempted “coup” that should disqualify the incumbent’s re-election bid under Section 3 or the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Consitution

That sections bars elected officials from holding office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S.

“Congressional Democrats know that they are toast after November. Instead of fighting fair, or implementing policies to help Americans and their electoral chances, they’re trying to rig the game,” Mr. Banks said in a statement following the election board’s decision.

“Many Democrats in Washington hope to weaponize the 14th amendment to disenfranchise President Trump’s 74 million voters. I hope they watched today’s unanimous decision,” he said, warning that he looks forward to holding the administration of President Biden accountable after 2022.

Mr. Banks was among several House and Senate Republicans who opposed certifying the election for President Biden in certain states on Jan. 6, 2021. 

A similar challenge against the re-election bid is happening to Rep. Madison Cawthorn, North Carolina Republican. There, the Board of Elections is considering whether to remove Mr. Cawthorn from the 2022 ballot over statements he made about the Capitol attack. 

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