Indiana justices, elections board remove GOP US Senate candidate from primary.

Indianapolis— One of two Republican U.S. Senate candidates was unanimously removed from the primary ballot by the bipartisan Indiana Election Commission on Tuesday, and the state Supreme Court dismissed his legal challenge to the legislation prohibiting him.

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks is the only GOP candidate after John Rust was removed from the ballot. Rust sued state officials over Indiana's law requiring candidates to vote in their party's last two primaries or have county party chair clearance to appear on the primary ballot.

Rust voted Democrat in 2012 but Republican in 2016. Due to the epidemic and the lack of contested Republican elections in Jackson County, he didn't vote in the 2020 Republican primary and voted for Democrats for people he knew.

The lawsuit claims the county's Republican Party head told Rust she wouldn't certify him in July. Rust stated she later highlighted his primary vote. The governor-appointed Election Commission of two Republicans and two Democrats overwhelmingly accepted the challenges and removed Rust off the ballot.

The affiliation statute applies to Mr. Rust just like it applies to all other candidates in the state,” Ryan Shouse, an attorney representing five of the six challengers, told the panel.

Rust's attorney, Michelle Harter, claimed that the lower court barred the affiliation statue during the candidate filing period, so Rust did not assure his ballot placement. Democratic commission member Karen Celestino-Horseman said, “I don't see how we can get around the Indiana Supreme Court,” referring to its first stay.

Rust informed reporters he will appeal the Indiana Supreme Court's ruling to the USSC. He claimed the GOP is trying to keep him off the ballot “because I’m not under their control.”

The state GOP and former President Trump backed Banks for Senate. Rust gave his campaign $2.5 million last year, according to campaign finance reports. Banks concluded the year with almost $3 million in cash, data show. Banks is trying to replace U.S. Senator Mike Braun, who is running for governor.

Marc Carmichael and Valerie McCray are Democratic primary contenders for U.S. Senate, according to Secretary of State records. Banks said in a written statement that the commission's decision does not affect him or his campaign and that he will work until Nov. 5 to “be Indiana’s next conservative Republican Senator.”

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