The Journal Gazette
Sunday, August 04, 2019 1:00 am

Banks hires son of Fox News host Carlson

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, has hired the son of Fox News political commentator Tucker Carlson.

Buckley Carlson recently joined Banks' Capitol Hill staff in Washington after graduating from the University of Virginia. The younger Carlson had applied for a communications job with Banks, according to David Keller, his chief of staff.

Keller said that Banks has never met Tucker Carlson, host of the Fox News Channel show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” and did not know that Buckley Carlson was his son when Buckley interviewed. Buckley did not disclose the relationship at the time.

“Jim's got a reputation as a rising, young conservative leader on the Hill. We get folks who want to come work for him,” Keller said.

Buckley Carlson accepted an entry-level job as a special assistant in Banks' office. He is answering phones, responding to correspondence from the congressman's northeast Indiana constituents and assisting with media communications, Keller said.

His hiring was first reported by LegisStorm, a nonpartisan company that researches members of Congress and congressional staff.

Also on Banks' staff is Tim Goeglein, whose father, Fort Wayne native Timothy S. Goeglein, is a vice president with the conservative group Focus on the Family and had been an aide to President George W. Bush. The younger Goeglein, a former intern in Banks' office, joined the lawmaker's communications staff this year.

Banks recently hired Mitchell Hailstone as his communications director. Hailstone previously was communications director for Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn.

GOP caucus picks new lawmaker

Health care consultant Ann Vermilion of Grant County won a Republican caucus election Tuesday evening to fill the vacant seat representing Indiana House District 31, party officials announced.

Vermilion, former administrative director of Marion General Hospital, replaces Hartford City resident Kevin Mahan, who resigned Wednesday from his House seat to move out of the district for a job with a health care provider in the Indianapolis area.

GOP officials in District 31 chose Vermilion over fellow candidates Steve Henderson and John Lancaster. The district consists of Blackford County and parts of Wells, Grant and Delaware counties.

All 100 House seats are up for re-election in November 2020.

Holcomb makes appointments

Gov. Eric Holcomb recently announced appointments and reappointments to various state boards, commissions and task forces. Two area Hoosiers were named.

Bryan Shearer, chief of the Ligonier Police Department, will serve on the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Task Force.

Debra Lambert, CEO of Byron Health Center, will serve on the Indiana State Commission on Aging.

Teens honored

Allen County Teenage Republicans received the Rising Star Club Award at the National Teenage Republicans Conference in Washington on July 19.

The local organization was recognized for work on behalf of GOP candidates, including door-to-door campaigning and assisting with telephone banks, according to Steve Shine, chairman of the Allen County Republican Party. 

Allen County Teenage Republicans has two-dozen members. Two of them, Ashley Martin and Adam Schwehn, were delegates at the national conference. Shine said GOP activist Bill Bean paid their expenses to attend.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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