Indiana Voters Pick Republican Mike Braun To Take On Sen. Joe Donnelly

Todd Rokita indiana

Todd Rokita indiana

In an IN primary race that saw more personal attacks and praise for President Donald Trump than debate over policy, a self-described political outsider edged out two Republican congressmen on Tuesday for the chance to take on a vulnerable Democratic senator this fall.

As expected, Rep. James Renacci won the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in OH and will challenge incumbent Sen.

The candidates favored by the oddsmakers didn't win every single race in the four-state primaries held today: Republican U.S. representative Robert Pittenger of North Carolina lost his party's nomination for another term in a rematch with 2016 opponent Mark Harris.

Braun - who, like his opponents, attended the private all-male liberal arts school Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. - painted Messer and Rokita as essentially the same person and even dubbed them the "swamp brothers". Braun will face off against incumbent Sen.

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.

Speaking in Whitestown, Braun said he's looking forward to facing incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly in the November midterm election.

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.

It worked. Blankenship came in third as West Virginia Republicans nominated Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. Joe Donnelly in a state Trump carried by 19 points.

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Blankenship served a year in prison on a misdemeanor conviction for conspiring to violate mine safety laws, in connection with the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in West Virginia in 2010 that killed 29 workers.

"It didn't work out", Blankenship told reporters Tuesday night in Charleston.

Blankenship has also created waves in recent days for broadcasting an effort ad referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, " R-Ky., as "cocaine Mitch.

The president had urged voters not to support Blankenship, who retorted by describing himself as "Trumpier than Trump".

The race will be a key one in deciding whether Democrats have a shot at winning the Senate. Democratic Sen. Frank Mrvan of Hammond easily defeated two challengers.

"His record is going to be easy to flush out, and I intend to do that and be the individual that makes the case not only for what we believe in but also to send Joe Donnelly to early retirement", Braun said.

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. His competitions have asked who he voted for in the 2008 Democratic principal race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but Braun maintains he hunted for.

Messer now represents the state's sixth congressional district and has served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 2003-2006, and he is also a former Executive Director of the state GOP. Sherrod Brown, D. Republicans are optimistic about the conservative's chances in a state Trump won.

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