GOP Senate primaries set the stage for November elections

by Antonio Miles May 10, 2018, 12:10
GOP Senate primaries set the stage for November elections

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer has declared Mike Braun the victor of the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

Indiana Republican voters picked Vice President Mike Pence's brother and a state lawmaker who lost his left arm during the Vietnam War as nominees for two congressional seats vacated by incumbents who fell short Tuesday in the GOP Senate primary.

It's been a busy primary season.

"This is just the start of what President Trump can accomplish if he has the leaders that support him in Washington", Messer told Reuters after a campaign event in Carmel, Indiana. They hope the winners will unseat what they see as vulnerable GOP incumbents in November.

"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. Both tactics are in play in his recent ad, titled "Meet the Swamp Brothers", which labels Rokita as "Todd the Fraud" and Messer as "Luke the Liberal" as it criticizes votes they cast during the Obama years.

Here's what to watch for in the first multi-state primary day of 2018.

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

The 64 year-old local businessman owns Meyer Distributing and Meyer Logistics in Jasper, and entered the Indiana General Assembly as a state representative in 2014, representing District 63, before resigning in November 2017 to focus on his run for U.S. Senate.

If Braun's concerned, he wasn't showing it Tuesday while basking in the glow of supporters after his double-digit victory over two congressmen - Todd Rokita and Luke Messer.

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Errol Spears, a 75-year-old retired schoolteacher from Fishers, said he voted for Braun in part because of his business background and for the tone of his campaign.

Donnelly says he hopes to make health care and jobs the centerpiece of the campaign, but says he's "ready for a fight".

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. State Sen. Troy Balderson had a slight edge over conservative favorite Melanie Leneghan in the GOP race, while Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor won the Democratic race.

Former Democratic congressional staffer Liz Watson, an attorney from Bloomington, defeated civil rights lawyer Dan Canon and another candidate in the Democratic primary for the 9th District nomination.

Jim Baird won the Republican nomination for the 4th District on Tuesday, defeating two opponents who outraised and outspent him.

Tonight, I'm excited to offer my support to Mike Braun, and I invite you to join me.

Kondik said that Braun, as an unknown quantity, carries the most risk for his party against Donnelly, but he might also be able to bring in independents turned off by the other two conservatives. Braun wants to allow individuals to purchase insurance across state lines and allowing businesses to come together to purchase insurance for a lower cost.

Renacci, a moderate Republican, has served in Congress since 2011.

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