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Six candidates are running in the Republican primary Indiana governor May 7

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Six candidates are running in the Republican primary election for governor of Indiana on May 7. Incumbent Eric Holcomb (R) is term-limited.

Mike Braun, Brad Chambers, Suzanne Crouch, and Eric Doden have led the race in media mentions, polling, and fundraising.

The Associated Press’ Isabella Volmert said campaign finance reports “reflect a multimillion-dollar race that has become a competition of who can out-conservative the others for primary votes in a state with historically low turnout.” The primary is the most expensive in the state’s history.

Braun is a U.S. Senator first elected in 2018. Braun served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 2014 to 2017. He founded Meyer Distributing in the mid-19080s and was CEO until 2019. Braun said being governor is “like running the biggest business in our state, now. And when you’ve got 30 agencies, you’ve got to know how to handle personnel. I mean, I did that for a living before I got to the Senate.” Braun has run on increasing economic growth, improving the K-12 education system, and making healthcare more affordable. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Braun.

Crouch is the lieutenant governor of Indiana. She served as Indiana State Auditor from 2014 to 2017 and as a state representative from 2005 to 2014. Crouch said, “As governor, I will boldly lead Indiana into the future. We’ll start by leading the fight to eliminate Indiana’s state income tax.” Crouch’s other issues include combating addiction and investing in mental health resources. She also ran on counteracting China’s influence in Indiana, promising to vet foreign purchases of farmland and stop China from buying land around military bases. U.S. Rep. Greg Pence endorsed Crouch.

Chambers founded and is CEO of the real estate investment firm Buckingham Companies. From 2021 to 2023, Chambers served as Indiana Secretary of Commerce. Chambers has made increasing economic growth the cornerstone of his campaign, saying, “I firmly believe that when you’re growing the economy, then you take the proceeds of a growing economy and you can fix the things that need to be fixed. You can invest in education, you can invest in public safety, you can invest in mental health and health care.” Chambers said he was also running on improving public safety and the education system.

Doden is a principal at a private equity firm. In 2012, then-Gov. Mike Pence appointed him president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., and he served in that role until 2015. From 2015 to 2018, Doden was CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc., Allen County’s chamber of commerce. Doden said his focus on the economic development of Indiana’s small towns and his plan to implement zero-cost adoptions for the state’s foster care children set him apart from his opponents.

At the time of his announcement, Braun was the first incumbent U.S. Senator to run for governor since 2015, when David Vitter (R-La.) ran and lost in the 2015 general election for Governor of Louisiana.

Curtis Hill, and Jamie Reitenour are also running in the election.

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