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Mike Braun Just Won Indiana's Insane Republican Senate Primary
10 May 2018, 12:15 | Marta Robbins
“Mike Braun- he is a lifelong Democrat. He voted for Obama or Hillary,” Rep. Todd Rokita said in a recent television
Many eyes had been on Braun, a former state representative whose brother, former state Rep. Mike Braun, won the GOP nomination for Senate on Tuesday.
Braun the victor in Indiana's three-way primary against Reps.
Throughout the bruising GOP campaign, Braun, 64, depicted himself as a political outsider in the mold of President Donald Trump while describing Messer and Rokita as career politicians and "swamp brothers".
He positions himself as in sync with the conservative Tea Party movement and has poured about $5.4 million of his own money in the race, according to federal records.
Insurance adjuster Chris Thurston, 39, of Indianapolis said he voted for Messer because he thought the congressman had a better chance of defeating Donnelly in November. Rokita represents the 4th Distric, t and Messer the 6th District in Congress.
Following Tuesday's GOP Senate primaries in West Virginia, Indiana and OH the spotlight is now on three races that could determine which party controls the upper chamber next year.
Meanwhile, Democrats picked a Methodist minister-turned-health care company executive and a former Democratic congressional staffer as their challengers in two districts where they hope to unseat what they see as vulnerable GOP incumbents.
Other Republican primary races in OH and West Virginia on Tuesday also feature outsider businessmen who have gone all out to show their allegiance to Trump and accuse their rivals of lacking the same fealty.
Mike Braun will also take this race directly to Democrat Joe Donnelly. The Indiana businessman has cast his opponents, Reps. The seat was held by Mike Pence until he became governor in 2013. Braun wants to allow individuals to purchase insurance across state lines and allowing businesses to come together to purchase insurance for a lower cost.
And Donnelly's raising an eyebrow at Braun's claim to be an outsider. It's a signal the GOP is trying to unify behind their nominee ahead of a pivotal fall campaign against Sen.
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.
Republican Sen. Joe Zakas of Granger lost to business owner Linda Rogers in the primary for the South Bend-area district.
Half of the seats in the 50-member Indiana Senate and all 100 seats in the Indiana House are up this year. Democratic front-runner Danny O'Conner won his primary fairly easily.
The only other legislative incumbent defeated in Tuesday's primary was Republican Rep. Richard Hamm of Richmond.
The other candidates in the race are U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. Christy Stutzman, the wife of former U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, will be the GOP candidate in northern Indiana's Elkhart County.
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