Conservative “Outsiders” Running For Congress Hope To Capture Local Support

Mar 28, 2018

GOP Congressional candidates Mike Braun (left) and Jonathan Lamb speak to a Muncie crowd, on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.
Credit 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.”

Braun is a former state representative running for US Senate.  His opponents in May’s primary are sitting Congressmen already – Todd Rokita and Luke Messer.  He’s pledged not to be a career politician and says that’s being heard by the voters who send in checks every day.

“The number of people across the state who, you know, write a note on it and say, ‘Hey, glad you’re doing it,’ has been probably double or triple what we thought we’d do in the beginning.  That’s how well it’s resonating.”

Jonathan Lamb meets with supporters in Muncie, IN, on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.
Credit Stephanie Wiechmann / WIPR

Lamb is on the Republican primary ballot in the 6th District with a Pence.  As in Greg Pence, the older brother of the former Governor, current Vice President, and former 6th District Congressman himself – Mike.  Lamb says Hoosiers are worried others will “buy” their Congressional seat.

“So, one of my competitors has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, primarily from Washington DC and Indianapolis, all from areas where people can’t actually vote for them.”

Some voters like Ben Fisher of Daleville, who sports a Lamb for Congress t-shirt featuring a cartoon sheep in a tactical vest holding a rocket launching rifle, say it’s both men’s backgrounds as business owners that’s brought out support.

“I just really like the fact that these two guys are proven business professionals.  They’ve raised up successful businesses and I just think that’s the kind of thought process we need going to Washington to represent us.”

Braun and Lamb supporters in Muncie voiced their displeasure about the newest spending bill just passed by Congress, continued funding for Planned Parenthood, and the recent debate about gun ownership.