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Indianapolis Councilor Potts launches Democratic bid for open U.S. Senate seat

A professional headshot of Keith Potts, a White man with dark brown hair, wearing glasses and a suit.
Courtesy of the Potts campaign
Indianapolis City-County Councilor Keith Potts would be the first openly gay man to serve in the U.S. Senate.

A second Democratic candidate has thrown their hat into the ring for Indiana’s open 2024 U.S. Senate race.

Indianapolis City-County Councilor Keith Potts is launching what he hopes is a historic bid.

Potts would be the first openly gay man elected to the U.S. Senate. The 33-year-old first worked in politics for U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly in 2018 before beating a Republican incumbent in 2019 to join the Indianapolis City-County Council.

As Potts begins his campaign, his message leads with some of the most fraught political issues of the time: book bans, abortion restrictions, voting rights and gun violence.

He also used much of his formal launch video to focus attention on the likely Republican candidate, U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City).

“He votes with party bosses and against badly-needed repairs to Indiana’s roads and bridges," Potts said in the campaign video. "He plays politics instead of standing up for public safety.”

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Potts joins former alcohol lobbyist Marc Carmichael in the Democratic primary for the seat opened up by current U.S. Sen. Mike Braun’s (R-Ind.) run for governor.

Carmichael welcomed Potts to the race.

"I look forward to working with Keith to take the Democrat’s positive message to Indiana voters into 2024," Carmichael said.

Democrats haven't won a statewide election in Indiana since 2012.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.