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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:21 am

Banks rejoins state Senate after military deployment

Niki Kelly The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – State Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, officially reclaimed his office Friday.

He submitted his letter of reinstatement to Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, after having served an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan as a supply corps officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Banks was re-elected to the 17th District seat in the 2014 general election, but before the 2015 legislative session began, he received orders from the Navy to report for active duty and was deployed to Afghanistan.

He took a leave of absence, and his wife, Amanda Banks, was chosen by a caucus to serve as his temporary replacement for the 2015 legislative session.

Jim Banks returned to Indiana at the end of April.

"This was a unique experience for us," he said.

"Amanda not only represents Hoosiers in Senate District 17, but she also represents thousands of military spouses who go through this every year.

"I’m grateful that she has a heart for public service, and I’m proud of what she accomplished during the legislative session," he said.

As required by state law, Long formally notified Amanda Banks and the state Republican Party chair of Jim Banks’ reinstatement.

After those notifications had been completed, Banks resumed his Senate duties Friday.

nkelly@jg.net