Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Mike Braun Wins Indiana Republican Senate Nomination

A night Republicans feared would end in disaster in at least one state instead produced Senate nominees that party leaders are pleased to run against three vulnerable Democratic senators in November's midterm elections. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer.

But the highest-profile races there were about replacing outgoing Gov. John Kasich. However, after four televised debates, few policy differences were found between the candidates.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have scheduled a campaign rally on Thursday - just two days after the primary, signaling a push to unify the GOP behind Braun. Democrats are already responding in kind, with an online ad using clips of Rokita blasting Braun's statehouse votes for a gas tax hike.

Braun defeated IN congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita IN Tuesday's lone statewide primary race with 41 percent of the vote.

Whether that will prove effective in a general election campaign that could top $100 million is far from certain.

"Mike Braun will provide President Trump with a new partner in the Senate, working to advance conservative, Hoosier values", said Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer. Braun outspent the duo and succeeded in depicting them as "swamp people" and himself as a sort of Hoosier version of President Trump: a "conservative outsider".

He'll take on Sen.

FOX59 spoke with Sen. "But anytime you have a divisive primary, it's going to obviously help Donnelly", Republican Indiana donor Bob Grand said during a recent interview. Rokita said he will continue to fight for the people of Indiana.

"I think his record is going to be flushed out". Braun will face incumbent Democratic Sen.

"I don't worry about incumbent or non-incumbent", he said.

He said he knows there's still a lot of work to be done before November, but he has a plan and says once again he thinks he can win by focusing on his past and his accomplishments in the business sector.

"Hoosiers need a strong team representing Indiana's interests in the United States Senate".

"When he's in IN he acts like one of us, but in Washington he votes against us, against President Trump and in lockstep with the Democrats". I believe that Mike Braun is the right person to ensure that our long-held IN principles are pushed hard IN Washington, D.C.

But Braun, too, has his own liabilities when it comes to free trade, with records showing that his company regularly does business with manufacturers in China. That's why he voted dozens of times to raise your taxes while writing legislation to cut them for himself.

Supporters say felt good about this race all night, from the moment those very first precincts started reporting.

"Congratulations to Mike Braun on his win in tonight's primary", said NRSC Executive Director Chris Hansen.

Braun entered the race after his two rivals, but quickly began airing ads early and often to boost his name recognition and lay claim to the label of "outsider" candidate. "(Braun and Republicans) have money coming from every direction, but that wouldn't be anything new".

It's been a busy primary season.

Mr. Braun pumped millions of dollars from his personal fortune into touting his credentials as a businessman and political "outsider" and casting Mr. Rokita and Mr. Messer as "career politicians".

Donnelly, a moderate Democrat, was elected in 2012. Donnelly is a liberal Democrat, who has a history of voting in lock-step with his Democrat bosses, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

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