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Outsider Mike Braun Charging Ahead In Indiana GOP Senate Primary

A wealthy businessman is upending a Senate primary fight in Indiana that until now has been defined by the sparring between Republican Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita reports National Journal’s Kimberly Railey.

Republican strategists in the state told Railey state Rep. Mike Braun is mounting a stronger campaign than anticipated, though the two incumbent House members still hold a slight edge for the nomination to take on Mike BraunDemocratic Sen. Joe Donnelly.

An $850,000 personal loan and the more than $1 million total in receipts that his campaign reported by the end of September allowed Braun to launch a $329,000 TV and radio ad campaign this month, providing the kind of early name-recognition boost that could alter an underdog candidate’s chances says Railey.

Braun allies believe that his chief appeal rests on his background as a businessman and political outsider in a state that is among Republicans’ ripest targets on the Senate map. In his first TV ad, he talks up founding a national company in his Indiana hometown and slams congressional inaction in Washington.

Regardless of Braun’s personal spending, observed Railey, he will also benefit from a super PAC in his corner run by New Hampshire-based GOP strategist David Carney. Carney said the PAC has no fundraising projection and would not reveal how much the PAC has already collected, but the group plans to launch digital efforts, and potentially cable and broadcast buys as well. Carney ran a super PAC last year for another Indiana businessman, now-Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, who defeated a state senator and attorney general in the GOP primary.

Republicans, at this point, are brushing off the uncertainty of the race.

“Republicans are comfortable with the fact that the primary is unclear,” Cam Savage, a GOP consultant who has managed congressional campaigns in Indiana told Railey. “They believe that Joe Donnelly is the most endangered incumbent in the country.”

Building on the dynamics Railey outlined Mike Braun yesterday released his second television and radio advertising flight of the campaign, titled “Outsider.” The ads will run statewide on broadcast television and radio. Braun is running for the seat held by first-term Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly.

“Outsider” focuses on Braun’s career of accomplishment as a businessman, in contrast to the career politicians in Washington who spend all their time talking – rather than doing. Braun makes it clear that unlike career politicians, he won’t be beholden to special interests and will put Hoosiers first.

“President Trump was right, for too long career politicians who are beholden to special interests have run our country into the ground. It’s time for a change,” said Braun. “I’ll fight for the conservative Hoosier values we share, and I’ll take my experience gained from building a successful company to help rebuild our country.”

You can watch the television ad by clicking here, or listen to the radio ad by clicking here.

Full transcript of TV ad:

Politicians talk. That’s all they do.

I’m Mike Braun. I built a national business two miles from where I grew up.

Now I’m running for Senate because I want to rebuild our country.

President Trump was right.

We need fewer career politicians in Washington.

Folks who actually live conservative values,

Who aren’t beholden to special interests,

and who put you first.

I’m Mike Braun and I approve this message.

Full transcript of radio ad:

Voiceover: There’s a different kind of candidate running for US Senate this year.

Republican businessman and conservative outsider Mike Braun.

Mike Braun is one of us.

Born and raised in Jasper Indiana, Mike Braun married his high-school sweetheart and came home after Harvard Business School to raise a family and start his business.

Mike’s spent his life here in Indiana, creating jobs for Hoosiers.

Now he’s the conservative choice for US Senate.

Braun: I’m Mike Braun. I built a national business two miles from where I grew up.

Now I’m running for Senate because I want to rebuild our country.

President Trump was right.

We need fewer career politicians in Washington.

Folks who actually live conservative values.

Who aren’t beholden to special interests, and who put you first.

Voiceover: Businessman. Outsider. Conservative. Republican Mike Braun for US Senate.

Braun: I’m Mike Braun, candidate for US Senate, and I approve this message.

Voiceover: Paid for by Mike Braun for Indiana.

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