Senate primaries in Indiana, West Virginia stoke internal GOP fight

Hugh Fox
May 10, 2018

Lamb has loaned himself $800,000.

Mike Braun spent heavily on ads mocking his opponents, Reps.

Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald Mike Braun thanked his supporters after being named the victor in today's U.S. Senate race.

An independently wealthy businessman who largely self-financed his own campaign has defeated two sitting congressmen to become Indiana's Republican nominee for Senate.

Republican voter Dennis Shea said outside a downtown Indianapolis voting site that he supported Messer, but wished the campaign hadn't been so nasty. Unexpectedly, the closest of the big statewide primaries was the GOP U.S. Senate context, in which the Establishment- and Trump-backed favorite, Representative Jim Renacci, fell short of a majority in defeating banker Mike Gibbons.

Another top race has Greg Pence, brother of Vice President Mike Pence, among five Republicans seeking an open seat in one U.S. House race.

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In the first race called in the night, the Associated Press declared Indiana Republican Greg Pence the victor of the party's nomination for the U.S. House seat once held by his brother, Vice President Mike Pence, 17 minutes after last polls closed.

Asked about the appeal of Braun's "outsider" approach, Donnelly, 62, told news media Tuesday night, "What I think people really want is a focus on their lives, on making sure we keep and grow jobs right here in IN, that we focus on good health care for them and that we stand up against things like the McConnell tax cuts, where their Medicare is being challenged and being questioned, where their health care premiums are going to be going up".

With few major policy differences, the candidates ran bitter campaigns by arguing who's the strongest Trump supporter.

Messer and Rokita attacked Braun for his past votes in Democratic primaries.

Voters in OH also moved a step close to replacing Republican Gov. John Kasich, who is term-limited, and flirting with a primary challenge against Mr. Trump in 2020.

In his campaign, Braun identified himself as a career businessman rather than career politician; which is what he called his opponents.

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Thurston says: "Just because the president says to do something isn't necessarily why it needs to be done". Donnelly is one of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents in the country.

IN and West Virginia are two of the Republican Party's best pickup opportunities in the battle for the Senate in November, as the GOP tries to expand on its slim 51-to-49 majority. The victor will face Democratic U.S. Sen.

Rep. Todd Rokita, R-4th District, had 29.5 percent as of 8:54 p.m., according to Politico, and Rep. Luke Messer, R-6th District, came in with 29.4 percent of the vote.

"It can get intense, it can get harsh", Braun said of the campaign he ran against Indiana Reps. In February of that same year, Rokita told a local news reporter that he found the president "vulgar, if not profane" in explaining why he supported Sen.

Braun, a former state legislator who poured their own money into the race, has been supposed to conquer Reps. Spears said that the three candidates' efforts to link themselves to President Trump did not impact his vote.

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