INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The first major Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate for 2024 told News 8 that Republicans’ primary pledges have left them unable to address serious policy issues.
Marc Carmichael, a retired lobbyist who also served two terms in the Indiana House of Representatives, announced earlier this month he will run in 2024 for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Mike Braun. In an interview for “All INdiana Politics,” Carmichael said voters need an alternative to the likely Republican nominee, Rep. Jim Banks. He said Banks typifies the deeply conservative, no-compromise politics that have come to define the Republican Party.
“To win a Republican primary anymore, you have to pledge allegiance to Donald Trump and you have to pledge allegiance to the National Rifle Association,” he said. “When you do that, you can’t compromise.”
Carmichael faces an uphill battle for the Senate. The Democratic standard-bearer in last year’s Senate race, Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott, captured just 37% of the vote in an unsuccessful attempt to replace Sen. Todd Young. Banks faces no significant opposition to date — Gov. Eric Holcomb is the latest Republican to publicly rule out a Senate run — and currently has about $2.2 million in available campaign funds and a slew of endorsements, including that of Trump. Carmichael said the 2024 race is different because it involves an open seat. Moreover, he said, voters have grown frustrated by Republican efforts to roll back abortion access following the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling and by still more mass shootings involving military-style rifles.
Carmichael said Congress should codify the Roe v. Wade ruling into federal law. When pressed on how long abortion should remain an option, he said he doesn’t feel qualified to answer. He said that conversation should be between a woman, her doctor and her family.
Carmichael has called for a ban on military-style rifles but acknowledged the number of such firearms in private circulation makes enforcing such a law difficult. He said a potential ban likely would need to grandfather them in or set up a buyback program. In the meantime, he said Congress also should consider raising the minimum age to buy a firearm, enact universal background checks and set up a national red flag law.
“We have to keep trying,” he said. “To not try is to say we’re perfectly OK with the slaughter that’s taking place on our streets today and I’m not OK with that.”
Carmichael also has called for immediate action on global warming. He said it’s not sustainable to continue to rely on fossil fuels at current rates. Carmichael said the United States will need to rely on a mix of energy sources, including nuclear energy as well as renewables, as it transitions away from fossil fuels. He said he would support greater reliance on domestic sources of coal and oil in the near term if that’s what it took to reduce fossil fuel consumption overall.
“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on WISH-TV.