Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Businessman Mike Braun wins Indiana GOP Senate primary

Businessman Mike Braun wins Indiana GOP Senate primary

Wealthy former state legislator Mike Braun won the nomination with just over 40 percent as the two congressmen split the remainder of the vote right down the middle. Donnelly, channeling President Donald Trump's anti-establishment and populist rhetoric. The primary season has laid bare the GOP candidates' baggage. It could also be seen as a win for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who clashed with Blankenship during the campaign.

On behalf of the Indiana Republican Party, I want to congratulate our Republican nominee and next U.S. Senator - Mike Braun!

The primary between Braun and his fellow contenders, sitting Congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, turned nasty with accusations thrown at all candidates.

He also indicated he will continue the tone and theme of his primary election campaign in his general election battle with Donnelly, regarded as among the most vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election this year. Aficionados of political eccentricity will mourn the departure of Rokita and the cardboard cutout of Trump that he carried around with him on the campaign trail. He described Messer as a "Never Trumper" and Braun, who voted in several Democratic primaries, as a lifelong Democrat.

And the third candidate, U.S. Representative Luke Messer, nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the talks between North and South Korea.

While all three Senate nominees have vulnerabilities - there's much to explore in Braun's business history and his votes in the state legislature, Democrats said Tuesday night - they are all candidates the GOP can embrace.

Blankenship's loss spared Republicans from painful decisions about whether to abandon their hopes of unseating Democratic Sen.

Braun was accused of pushing legislation at the General Assembly that cut taxes for his timber holdings, Rokita was said to have conducted political activities on state government time and property while he was IN secretary of state, and Messer had to answer for two drunken-driving arrests IN the 1990s.

Braun was criticized for having voted in Democratic primaries for decades, Messer for buying a house near Washington, D.C., and Rokita for overstating his ties to Trump.

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

The only other legislative incumbent defeated in Tuesday's primary was Republican Rep. Richard Hamm of Richmond.

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.

Tonight, I'm excited to offer my support to Mike Braun, and I invite you to join me. A Republican National Committee official representing Indiana, John Hammond III, said at one point: "This race has slowly but surely descended into Dante's Inferno". Zakas was elected to the Senate seat in 1982. "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".

Democrats need to add four House seats to break the current 70-30 Republican supermajority, while the GOP's 41-9 Senate margin means Democrats must pick up at least eight seats.

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