In a huge upset against two well-established names in Indiana Republican politics, wealthy businessman and CEO of Meyer Distributing Mike Braun won Indiana’s high-stakes GOP Senate primary.
This story by Tony Cook and Maureen Groppe originally appeared in the Indy Star.
Braun, who fueled his bid with millions of dollars of his own money, defeated U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita in what has been called the nation’s nastiest and most expensive U.S. Senate primary.
The Associated Press called the race at 8:48 p.m. with Braun garnering 41 percent of the vote and Messer and Rokita receiving about 29.5 percent each.
The results represent a stunning rebuke of two sitting congressmen and a powerful indicator that the anti-establishment sentiment remains strong among Hoosier Republicans who helped catapult Donald Trump into the White House two years ago.
Braun, a former state lawmaker and owner of a national distributor of auto parts, painted himself as an outsider with real world experience who could shake up Washington. He entered the race in August after Messer and Rokita had already spent months attacking each other.
Braun will now face off against Sen. Joe Donnelly, who is widely considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the November election. The race will be one of a handful that determine which party controls the Senate next year.