Decision 2018: Meet the candidates

Between Joe Donnelly's seat in the Senate and Indiana's nine seats in the House of Representatives, there are dozens of candidates in the mix heading into November. As part of our Decision 2018 coverage, we have compiled background information for those candidates to help you make your decision before you cast your ballot.

U.S. Senate

Businessman Mike Braun defeated Reps. Luke Messer and Tod Rokita in what POLITICO called the GOP's nastiest primary and Brian Howey with our newsgathering partners at Howey Politcs calls a "reality TV" GOP primary. Braun has already poured millions of his own money into his campaign. Throw in millions in outside spending, and Howey expects this will be Indiana's first $100 million Senate campaign. Donnelly has also been named one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate, setting the scene for a highly contested general election.

Mike Braun

Party Affiliation: Republican

Background

  • former State Representative from Jasper
  • married, 4 grown children, 1 grandchild
  • Jasper High School grad
  • Wabash College grad
  • Master's from Harvard Business School
  • Founder and CEO of Meyer Distributing, a Jasper-based nationwide auto parts distribution company with locations in more than three dozen states
  • funding much of his own campaign

The Issues

  • Immigration
    • Supports building a border wall
    • Supports cracking down on undocumented immigrants and "sanctuary cities"
    • Demands every business verify the immigration status of its workers
  • Gun Control
    • Second Amendment supporter
    • NRA member
    • hunter
  • Opioid/Drug Crisis
    • believes stiffer border protection will curb drugs from getting into United States
  • Tax Reform
    • Supports the Trump tax plan and deregulation
    • Believes American jobs should be filled by American workers and not outsourced or give to undocumented immigrants
  • Health Care
    • Supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act
  • Controversies
    • Came under fire for airing an ad using the likeness of Colts player Edwin Jackson and his Uber driver, Jeffrey Malone. Both men were killed in a drunk driving accident involving an undocumented immigrant. Malone's widow told us Braun never asked the family's permission to include Jeffrey in the ad. She asked him to pull the ad. The campaign didn't immediately respond but, nearly two weeks later, they did discontinue the ad.

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Lucy Brenton

Party Affiliation: Libertarian

Background

  • Secretary of the Hamilton County Libertarian Party
  • Ran for U.S. Senate in 2016
  • Mother of 10 children
  • Northwest High School grad
  • IUPUI grad

The Issues

  • Immigration
    • "Illegal immigration is, well, illegal!"
    • Wants to make it easier for legal immigrants to come and easier to deport illegal immigrants out
  • Gun Control
    • Believes gun ownership is not just a right but a responsibility: "Every willing citizen should keep Arms, be proficient in their use – and be ready to use them to defend themselves, their families, their property and this Nation."
  • Health Care
    • Believes the Affordable Care Act limits choice, forcing patients to buy a product which they may not need or want. "This must end."
    • Proposes forming private health care co-operatives

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Joe Donnelly

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Background

  • Incumbent finishing his first term, former 2-term U.S. Representative
  • married, 2 grown children
  • Born in New York, now living in South Bend
  • Notre Dame grad

The Issues

  • Immigration
    • Voted "yes" to extend DACA
    • Supports stricter border security
  • Gun Control
    • Second Amendment supporter
    • Favors stricter background checks
    • Supports banning guns for those on the terror watch list
  • Opioid/Drug Crisis
    • Pushed for passing CARA Act (Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016) which would have established best practices for prescribing medications, expanded treatment and supported options for addicts
  • Tax Reform
    • voted "no" on Trump tax plan
  • Health Care
    • voted "no" on repealing the Affordable Care Act
  • Controversies
    • Stewart Superior Corp., the company his family has owned for generations, has been outsourcing work by shipping thousands of pounds of raw materials to Mexico, where the company has a factory that produces ink pads and other supplies. Donnelly's brother runs the company, but the senator previously served as a corporate officer and its general counsel before he was first elected to Congress in 2006. In a financial disclosure form he filed last May, Donnelly reported owning as much as $50,000 in company stock and earning between $15,001 and $50,000 in dividends on it in 2016 alone. Two months after the story broke, he signed over all that stock to 10 charities across Indiana.

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