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Trump-backed Braun declared winner in Indiana GOP governor’s primary

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(The Center Square) – Indiana U.S. Sen. Mike Braun claimed the Republican gubernatorial nomination Tuesday night, easily beating a field of five other candidates in the statewide primary election.

The Associated Press called the race for the one-term senator at 7 p.m. eastern time, just as the polls closed in the state’s southwestern and northwestern counties. The Indiana Secretary of State’s office had yet to post results. Preliminary figures from Indiana Public Media showed Braun held a 38.5% to 21.5% lead over Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch with 69,646 votes, or 11% of the total, tallied at 7:03 p.m.

A poll last month showed Braun receiving more than four times the support of Crouch.

Brad Chambers, an Indiana businessman and former state commerce secretary under current Gov. Eric Holcomb, was third at 19%. Former Indiana Economic Development Corp. President Eric Doden had 13.6%, with political newcomer Jamie Reitenour and former state Attorney General Curtis Hill both polling at less than 4%.

Holcomb, who is in the final year of his second term, is ineligible to run for re-election. He did not endorse a candidate in the primary.

Braun received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who posted a statement on Truth Social on Monday evening urging Hoosiers to vote for him.

“Mike is an America First Conservative who knows how to grow the Economy, fight inflation and champion ‘Hoosier’ Values,” said Trump in the statement Braun’s campaign posted on its X account.

With Tuesday’s win, Braun will advance to the November general election. Jennifer McCormick, the former state superintendent for education, is the Democratic nominee. Libertarian Donald Rainwater and Independent Christopher Streid will also be on the ballot.

Trump himself was on Tuesday’s ballot as well. He easily defeated Nikki Haley, his former ambassador to the United Nations, by a more than 3-to-1 margin with 60,006 votes or 10% of the count tallied. The AP called the race for Trump at the same time as it did for Braun.

President Joe Biden was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks is the Republican nominee for Braun’s senate seat this fall. He will face Valerie McCray, an Indianapolis psychologist who defeated former state Rep. Marc Carmichael in the Democratic primary. With 9% of the vote, or 18,422 ballots, counted, McCray held a nearly 2-to-1 lead.

The AP also called the Democratic Senate primary as soon as the polls closed.

Libertarian Andy Horing and Independents Sean Dada and Richard Kent will also be on the November ballot for the U.S. Senate seat.

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