May 27, 2018

Indiana Voters Pick Republican Mike Braun To Take On Sen. Joe Donnelly

10 May 2018, 12:14 | Simon Arnold

GOP hopefuls for Senate show differences in attack modes

Braun campaigns in Steuben

WISH-TV's Eric Feldman was at U.S. Rep. Luke Messer's field campaign office on the north side of Indianapolis. Braun identified himself as a career businessman - rather than career politician, which is what he called his opponents, IN congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita.

On the issue of Braun being a former Democrat, Donnelly said he hasn't given it much thought.

"Mike Braun raises taxes like a Democrat so it's not a surprise he votes for Democrats, too", a Rokita spokesperson said of the report.

IN is home to perhaps the bitterest Republican primary in the country, with all three candidates scrambling to show voters their Trump bona fides and face incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly in the November election. IN is one of three closely-watched states where voters are choosing among Republican nominees to take on some of the most vulnerable incumbent Senate Democrats in November.

The Herald Bulletin will update this story.

Candidates are eyeing those districts that used to elect conservative Democrats before they were redistricted to favor the GOP after the 2010 census. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) in November's general election. "Who is going to fight to protect our good paying jobs, and additionally who will be an independent voice for IN?"

Braun spent more than $4 million of his own money in the race, and took out a series of negative ads against his GOP opponents.

Some Republicans worry that the nasty race puts the party's chance of unseating Donnelly at risk.

He'll square off now against Donnelly in a state Trump won by 19 percentage points in 2016.

IN congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita will be without an elected office job at the end of the year.

"I've never been afraid of a fight", Donnelly said.

He notes Braun won two terms in the Indiana House, and criticizes him for resigning in the middle of the second one to focus on his Senate campaign.

Donnelly, who is facing his first re-election bid, talked with reporters Wednesday morning, hours after the results were called.

Democrats in two in congressional districts say the GOP incumbents - three-term Rep. Jackie Walorski in the 2nd District and Tennessee native and first-term Rep. Trey Hollingsworth in the 9th District - have been absent from the districts and are clueless about what their constituents need.

Also in Indiana, Greg Pence, the older brother of Vice President Mike Pence, claimed victory in the GOP nomination race in the 6th Congressional District. Steve Braun is the brother of Senate candidate Mike Braun. They hope the increase is a sign that they could cut into Republican supermajorities in the state House and Senate that have left them largely powerless over the past six years.

Democrats have almost two-thirds more candidates seeking legislative nominations this year than they did in the last midterm election four years ago.

Renacci, a moderate Republican, has served in Congress since 2011. "With no more childish primary antics to hide behind, Rep. Braun will be forced to run on his record of self-dealing and using the power of the Statehouse to enrich himself - like when he carved out a tax break for himself while repeatedly raising taxes on Hoosiers - and voters will hold him accountable in November".

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