INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Mike Braun’s eye-catching $1 million dollar third quarter has thrown an already “vicious” GOP primary into even more chaos today and established him as another leading candidate.
Rep. Braun, who had repeatedly hinted that he’d be willing to self-fund his campaign, announced today that he’d donated $800,000 to his own campaign for the GOP’s senate nomination. Notably, Rep. Braun also raised $200,000 since declaring for the race in August, bringing his total to an even $1 million for the quarter.
The announcement adds another dimension to a primary that has already been called “the nastiest race in politics.” Rep. Braun has stated before that he believes Congressmen Messer’s and Rokita’s constant infighting gives him a path to victory, a belief he confirmed with the injection of his own money. “The tone of the race, as exhibited by the two of them — and I think especially Todd Rokita, who I think has been throwing most of the punches,” is concerning for Republicans, Rep. Braun told the AP. “I think that general disappointment with the way discourse unfurls is out there.”
The fundraising announcement makes clear that not only is Rep. Braun a serious contender for the race, he also might quickly catch up with the two previous GOP front-runners. Congressman Rokita and Congressman Messer had early starts due to their House of Representatives campaign war chests that predate their official Senate candidacies, but Rep. Braun’s third quarter is roughly the same amount Congressman Rokita raised in the previous quarter, and nearly twice as much as Congressman Messer’s haul.
“The nastiest race in politics just got a little nastier,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Hoosiers are likely to be as unimpressed by Rep. Braun as they are by out-of-touch and extreme Washington Republicans like Congressmen Messer and Rokita. But Rep. Braun’s statement of intent today makes it even more clear that the GOP’s primary will be long, brutal, and permanently damaging to their ultimate nominee.”