Republicans pick car salesman to fill vacant state Senate seat

FILE - In this June 12, 2014, file photo, Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long welcomes delegates meeting to set up the framework for states to amend the U.S. Constitution, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. The 2016 November election put Republicans in full control of a record number of state legislatures around the country, a level of power that gives the party an unprecedented opportunity: change the U.S. Constitution. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

WABASH, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana business owner has been picked to replace Republican U.S. Rep.-elect Jim Banks in the state Senate.

Republican precinct committee members voted Tuesday night during a meeting in Wabash to select Andy Zay of Huntington for the Senate District 17 seat over three other candidates. Zay owns a car dealership in Huntington and will be in public office for the first time.

Zay will complete the final two years of Banks’ Senate term in the district covering all of Wabash County and parts of Grant, Huntington and Whitley counties.

Banks was first elected to the state Senate 2010. He won election last month to Congress from Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District and takes office in January.

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