INDIANAPOLIS — U.S. Rep. Jim Banks won’t see much change in his constituency in 2022 and beyond, as state lawmakers made minimal changes to the 3rd District congressional map during this year’s redistricting.
Currently, Banks represents 10 full counties and parts of two others in the northeast Indiana 3rd District. In the new maps, the boundaries having changed much, with Banks set to represent 11 full counties with parts of two others.
The changes to the congressional map were minor in this part of the state, with only three areas seeing some shifts in districts lines.
Banks has ceded part of Kosciusko County to District 2, going from covering about half of that county to now just the northeast quarter of it.
That changes removes Banks as the representative for Warsaw and its many medical device firms and other industry along the U.S. 30 corridor.
The other changes occurred on the south end of the map, where he went from representing just the northern half of small Blackford County to now taking on the entire county, as well as having his southern borders extend a little more from the previous stopping point in Jay County to now also pick up the northern half of Randolph County.
Blackford and northern Randolph County are both very rural areas. Northern Randolph County, like southern Jay County, is home to fields dotted with wind turbines, which were developed over the past decade as part of the state’s growing green energy sector.
As for the rest of the district, Banks will remain the representative for all of LaGrange, Steuben, Noble, DeKalb, Whitley, Allen, Huntington, Wells, Adams and Jay counties.
Indiana’s 3rd District has swung about 2-to-1 in favor of Banks in his last two elections and the pickups in Blackford and Wayne counties aren’t likely to change that, leaving the region as a reliable Republican stronghold going forward.
Indiana’s congressional maps were very similar to past years with the exception of Districts 6 and 9.
Those have changed generally from two vertical districts representing south-central and southeast Indiana to two horizontal districts serving east-central and southeast regions of the state.
The only other notable change, albeit it small in geographic area, was to redefine District 5 northeast of Indianapolis to make the suburban/rural district more reliably Republican in nature.
GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz narrowly won the seat in 2020, but was beaten badly in Democratic-leaning Marion County. State Republicans have fixed that in the 2021 map, removing Indianapolis from the equation and shifting the boundaries exclusively outside of Marion County.
Based on current voting patterns, Indiana is likely to maintain a 7-2 partisan split in its Congressional delegation, with urban northwest Indiana’s District 1 and Indianapolis’ District 7 likely to remain in Democratic control, with the remainder of the rural landscape likely to heavily favor the GOP.