(INDIANAPOLIS) – For the last several weeks, you’ve heard the candidates for Indiana’s U-S Senate seat lay out where they stand. On Tuesday, you’ll hire one of them to represent the state for the next six years.
Former Jasper Representative Mike Braun says he’s proud of his three years in the Indiana House, but he’s barely mentioned it in the campaign. The heart of his pitch to voters has been his business experience as owner of a distribution company. He says the skills needed to run a business successfully translate directly into an even larger enterprise: the federal government. He argues business executives are forced to think outside the box, a skill he maintains most members of Congress lack.
Democrat incumbent Joe Donnelly argues he’s demonstrated the ability to work across the aisle he promised in his first Senate campaign. He points to rankings by the Lugar Center, founded by his Republican predecessor Richard Lugar, which rated his record the most bipartisan of the current Senate. He boasts he’s authored 50 provisions which became law, including 28 under President Trump, and says it’s his ability to partner with Republican colleagues which makes that possible.
Indiana’s Republican lean is well-documented. Trump won the state by 20 points, and in the last 80 years, only two Democrats — Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama — have won Indiana’s electoral votes. Braun says he wouldn’t be a rubber stamp for Trump, but says he’d be a vote for Trump’s agenda. Donnelly says Hoosiers don’t think of themselves as Republicans or Democrats, and says he’s demonstrated a commitment to serving their interests, not those of either party.