Businessman Mike Braun wins Indiana GOP Senate primary

U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly campaigns at a polling place in Indianapolis Indiana

Braun campaigns in Steuben

In the first race called in the night, the Associated Press declared Indiana Republican Greg Pence the victor of the party's nomination for the U.S. House seat once held by his brother, Vice President Mike Pence, 17 minutes after last polls closed.

Rep. Todd Rokita, R-4th District, had 29.5 percent as of 8:54 p.m., according to Politico, and Rep. Luke Messer, R-6th District, came in with 29.4 percent of the vote.

Braun is a businessman and former state representative.

Two sitting congressmen - Todd Rokita and Luke Messer - and former state lawmaker Mike Braun are on the ballot Tuesday.

Braun ran as an outsider, blasting Reps.

Rokita and Messer's attacks on one another were more personal, with Rokita's campaign writing a children's book criticizing Messer for selling his home in IN and residing in Washington DC after winning his US House seat.

As far as policy goes, however, the three candidates were almost indistinguishable.

"When you've got a three-way race that's close, that means you might have two-thirds of the voters and two-thirds of the backers who aren't really sold on the victor even if they sincerely dislike and want to get rid of the incumbent", said Helmke, who directs the Civic Leaders Living-Learning Center at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Braun's success didn't extend down the ballot.

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In the most competitive House district in Indiana, Democrats got the candidate party leaders wanted in Mel Hall.

Fueled by politically motivated attack ads, the race was one of the most volatile in the country.

In southeastern Indiana's 6th District, meanwhile, Greg Pence - the brother of Vice President Mike Pence - won the primary for Messer's seat and now is the heavy favorite to win in the overwhelmingly Republican district.

The West Virginia Senate race is thought to be a toss up in the mid term elections, even as Republicans expect to unseat incumbent Joe Manchin, a Democrat who won the seat in a 2010 exclusive election.

WISH-TV's Megan Sanctorum spent the day with Braun campaign staff and supporters at Moontown Brewing in Whitestown.

"I am hoping not only the best for him, but unity on Thursday when President Trump and Vice President Pence join Mike Braun, and I hope the other two candidates, in Elkhart on Thursday afternoon to show some wide support for our ticket", Shine said.

"I voted for Dennis because he actually has the courage to take a stand on a bunch of issues rather than pussy foot around trying to play both sides", Dieck said.

Braun is a multi-millionaire who loaned over $5.4 million to his own campaign, outspending each of his opponents roughly 2-to-1. Hoosiers across the state have been working long hours - making phone calls, knocking on doors, and working the polls in support of our Republicans candidates throughout the state. "It will provide the Democrats an very bad lot of free opposition research". The nasty GOP race buoyed Democratic confidence that Donnelly could survive. He'll remind Hoosiers that Donnelly isn't the moderate he claims to be. But it doesn't stop there. Matt Hostettler, the son of former U.S. Rep. John Hostettler, won a three-way race for an open GOP seat in the Evansville area.

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