2018 Midterm Elections

Find out what's happening in the U.S. Senate race, along with local races in Northwest Indiana with coverage from Lakeshore Public Radio, as well as Indiana Public Broadcasting News.

Stephanie Wiechmann / WIPR

Both Mike Braun and Jonathan Lamb have a few things in common besides being conservative Republicans.  Both are business owners.  Both are largely self-financing their campaigns and hoping for grassroots donations.  And both are campaigning against opponents with much better name recognition in Indiana.

“So when they first ran for Congress, what do they do?  Talk a good game, get up there, start calculating their vote based upon who gave the campaign check, and to survive.  To make it to the next election.”

Seven GOP Candidates Debate For 4th District Seat

Mar 24, 2018
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Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

A crowded pool of Republican candidates for the 4th district congressional seat met in Lafayette Saturday to debate issues ranging from gun control to federal spending and online security. The debate comes more than a month ahead of the May 8th primary.

Seven candidates are vying for the GOP nomination for what was previously Congressman Todd Rokita’s seat before he announced his run for Senate.

INDIANAPOLIS – Republican U.S. Senate candidates Mike Braun and Luke Messer have agreed to debate April 30 in a televised statewide event organized by the independent Indiana Debate Commission.

Former state lawmaker Mike Braun and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) traded barbs while Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville) tried to stay above the fray in the first debate of the 2018 Republican primary for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.

Rokita set the tone early, using his opening statement to jab his opponents with oft-repeated claims: that Braun is new to the Republican Party and Messer doesn’t live in Indiana.

GOP Senate Candidates Set For First Debate

Feb 16, 2018

Indiana’s three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate – former state Rep. Mike Braun, U.S.Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville), and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) – will meet this week in the campaign’s first debate in the lead up to May’s primary.

The GOP primary’s tone has been described by some as nasty and rancorous. University of Indianapolis political science professor Laura Merrifield Wilson says that’s unlikely to change in the debate.

Messer, Rokita Dodge On DACA Path To Citizenship

Feb 2, 2018

Indiana U.S. Representatives – and U.S. Senate candidates – Luke Messer and Todd Rokita won’t say for sure whether they’ll support a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.

DACA is a federal program that shields undocumented immigrants who came to the U-S as children. About 10,000 Hoosiers are enrolled.

President Donald Trump says he supports a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, over a period of around a decade.

Rep. Messer (R-Shelbyville) says the focus in immigration negotiations needs to be border security.

Indianapolis Women’s March Calls For Midterm Election Turnout

Jan 20, 2018

Speakers at the event represented organizations like Indy 10 Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood and Spencer Pride. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)


More than a thousand people showed up Saturday for the Women’s March in Indianapolis. A diverse line-up of speakers focused primarily on this year’s midterm elections.

Congressman Luke Messer emerged the victor Saturday of a straw poll of Republican U.S. Senate candidates.

Each of the six GOP Senate candidates delivered a short speech before 326 party activists in attendance cast their votes in the event organized by the Indiana Republican Party.

Rep. Messer (R-Shelbyville) won at 45 percent (147 votes). He calls the result “important momentum.”

“But there’s a whole lot of work to do between now and Election Day,” Messer says. “In a lot of ways, this is just the green flag to the four-month race before us.”

Braun To Resign State House Seat Amid U.S. Senate Run

Oct 20, 2017

Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) will leave one elected office as he runs for another.

Braun announced Friday he will resign the seat in the Indiana House he’s held for three years as he vies for U.S. Senate.

Braun jumped into the Senate GOP primary in August. A wealthy business owner from Jasper, he poured $800,000 of his own money into his campaign in the last fundraising quarter.

Braun says he looks forward to serving Hoosiers in a different capacity as he steps down from his House seat. His resignation takes effect Nov. 1.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) was one of just six U.S. Senators invited to a White House dinner Tuesday to discuss President Donald Trump’s tax reform agenda.

Political analysts say Donnelly’s inclusion is a boost to his reelection campaign.

In a statement, Donnelly called the dinner a “good conversation.” He focused on his proposal to address outsourced jobs and use tax reform to punish companies that send positions overseas while rewarding those who return jobs to the U.S.

Sen. Donnelly Launches Re-Election Campaign

Aug 20, 2017

Sen. Joe Donnelly has made veterans issues a cornerstone of his first Senate term. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)
 

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) launched his re-election campaign this weekend. His visit Sunday to a veterans headquarters in Indianapolis was the start of a six-day RV trip around the state.

A four-term congressman who’s vice chair of the U.S. House Budget Committee launched his U.S. Senate campaign Wednesday by attempting to target the so-called “Washington elite.”

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) formally entered the Senate race, becoming the sixth Republican candidate trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

Rep. Luke Messer Officially Joins Senate Race

Jul 26, 2017

U.S Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville) will seek to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Granger) in 2018.

The announcement of Messer’s entrance into an increasingly crowded GOP field was understated: a Tweet with the simple message “We’re in!! See you at the picnic on August 12th.”

Below the message, his chosen logo: a partial outline of the state on a red field with the slogan “I Like Luke: U.S. Senate 2018.”

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