Braun Runs On Outsider Status In Race For Senate Seat

first_imgBraun Runs On Outsider Status In Race For Senate Seat Braun is in a tightly-contested race against incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly, with Libertarian Lucy Brenton playing the role of spoiler.Recent polls have Braun and Donnelly trading leads, making the Senate race a toss-up heading into Election Day. Pete Seat, executive director of strategic communications and talent development for Indiana Republican Party, said the election has shifted in Braun’s direction.“Mike Braun is leading in the polls and has the clear momentum in the race,” Seat said in a statement. “As a conservative outsider and businessman, Mike Braun has built a record of delivering results.”Braun, whose campaign did not respond to several requests for an interview, made his campaign points in the debates where he argued that compared to career politicians,  he brings new ideas to the table rather than career politicians.“Running for the Senate should be something you do where you bring something to the table and career politicians say one thing and do another,” Braun said in the first debate.Much of the funding for the Braun campaign comes from the candidate himself, with more than $10 million of the $16 million raised since last July has been from personal loans.Downs said most voters do not necessarily see that as an issue.“He self-funds because he’s a successful business person and that’s part of his biography,” Downs said.Braun is the founder and CEO of Meyer Distributing and owner of Meyer Logistics. Both companies have locations in 38 states with the headquarters located in Braun’s hometown, Jasper, Indiana. Meyer is an auto parts dealer that uses Meyer Logistics to ship the parts directly.Braun and his wife, Maureen, have been married since 1976 and have four children.The 1972 Jasper High School graduate, earned an economics degree from Wabash College and his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1978.In his first elected position, Braun served on the Jasper School Board from 2004 to 2014.Braun then served as a state representative from 2014 to 2017 in a district which serves portions of Daviess, Dubois, Pike, and Martin counties. Braun resigned from the state House last fall to focus on his Senate campaign. In a primary where candidates tried to out-Trump one another, Braun won the 2018 Republican primary for over U.S. Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer.Braun said in the second debate that lowering the cost of health care would be his main focus if elected.In his company, Braun has said in public appearances and campaign advertisements that he has taken on the insurance companies to fix health care for his employees and held their premiums flat for 10 years.“It may not be the perfect plan but it’s a great plan and I held costs firm for 10 years and I’ll know more about what to do to actually reform healthcare than a career politician that gets briefed from the lobbyists,” he said.But Donnelly has used that in attacks on Braun, noting in a series of television ads that employees at Meyer Distributing must spend $5,000 a year on health care before their coverage kicks in, and that number jumps to $10,000 for a family.Donnelly has also criticized Braun for supporting a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, saying that would allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.Braun has said that he does support coverage for pre-existing conditions, which is included in his own company’s health insurance policies.Downs said sometimes the best idea or the best argument loses out to the one that is easier to understand and Braun’s company having a $10,000 deductible is easy to understand.“He’s using health care in his own organization as a way to demonstrate he knows how to get things done, not that he was saying it’s the best plan around,” Downs said of Braun’s defense of his plan.Braun’s positions on the issues were gathered from the two debates and the candidate’s website.On gun violence, Braun touts his membership in the National Rifle Association, its endorsement of him and his support of the Second Amendment.“I’m going to be for anything that proves effective that keeps guns out of the hands of criminals,” Braun said in the first debate. “I’m going to always be there to defend the Second Amendment rights because so often politicians and liberals end up going there, not the source of the problem.”On the issue of abortion, Braun said he supports legislation that states life begins at conception and makes abortion illegal.“I am 100 percent pro-life and when it comes down to just trying to nurture life in general and take us from where we are currently, all I can tell you is I got the endorsement from Indiana Right to Life, the National Right to Life, the Susan B. Anthony Group,” Braun said.On other issues:Braun has said he wants to continue rolling back regulations to allow to focus on creating jobs, not red tape, and invest in improving infrastructure, in both urban and rural communities, to help move goods and services through Indiana more efficiently.He said he wants to enact term limits to remove career politicians from Washington and ban retiring legislators from becoming lobbyists for five years after leaving office.Braun said he supports building the wall along the United States and Mexico border and enforce immigration laws and banning federal money from flowing to sanctuary cities, require businesses check the immigration status of prospective employees and crack down on criminal gangs like MS-13, who bring illicit drugs and crime to our communities.FOOTNOTE: James Polston is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.Print Friendly, PDF & EmailFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharecenter_img By James PolstonTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS —Life-long Hoosier, job creator and a political outsider. That is how Indiana Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Braun describes himself.That might be the kind of message that resonates with voters, said Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics based at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.“Hoosier’s have a long history of liking elected officials who can make an argument about real-world experience,” Downs said. “Hoosiers are not a group of people that automatically say we want people who are career politicians representing us.”Downs also said real-world experience is not a guarantee of success because candidates still have to demonstrate what has to be done and give voters a sense of how they plan to do it.last_img read more