2018 Midterm Elections

Find out what's happening in the U.S. Senate race, along with local races in Northwest Indiana with coverage from Lakeshore Public Radio, as well as Indiana Public Broadcasting News.

4th Congressional district Republican nominee Rep. Jim Baird, left, and Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun - a former state lawmaker - were attacked for their votes to raise the state’s gas tax 10 cents. (Courtesy Indiana General Assembly)
Brandon Smith

Two Republican primary candidates were attacked for their votes last year to raise the state’s gas tax. They both won their races.

And legislative leaders say those results affirm their support for the 2017 gas tax legislation.

ATLANTA (AP) — As the midterm congressional primaries heat up amid fears of Russian hacking, an estimated 1 in 5 Americans will be casting their ballots on machines that do not produce a paper record of their votes.

That worries voting and cybersecurity experts, who say the lack of a hard copy makes it difficult to double-check the results for signs of manipulation.

IU-Purdue Fort Wayne

Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center on Indiana Politics in Fort Wayne came on "Regionally Speaking" on Monday to talk about last week's primary elections and his "take"on the winners and how he sees the campaigns shaping up during the months before the November general election.  This includes the contentious Republican Party race for U.S. Senate, won by Mike Braun.  Here's the conversation.

Today:   Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center on Indiana Politics in Fort Wayne joins us to talk about last week's primary elections and his "take"on the winners and how he sees the campaigns shaping up during the months before the November general election,  This includes the contentious Republican Party race for U.S. Senate, won by Mike Braun.

Celina Weatherwax of the Valparaiso-based MAAC Foundation talks about the addition to the training center curriculum of OSHA safety training courses for northwest Indiana businesses and industries.

Donnelly-Braun Race Shaping Up To Be Contentious

May 11, 2018
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and his Republican challenger Mike Braun. (Photos courtesy of the U.S. Senate and Indiana General Assembly)
Brandon Smith

The Senate race between incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Republican Mike Braun is fully underway as both men gear up for what’s likely to be a contentious campaign. 

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Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

 

President Donald Trump unveiled his new slogan,"Keep America Great” at his campaign rally yesterday in Elkhart to a welcoming crowd. Protesters across the street however, had other thoughts about the president’s impact.

 

President Donald Trump’s supporters waited outside of the Elkhart middle school venue for hours before the rally. And they got an earful of chants against the president.
 

Today:   It's Reporter's Roundtable Thursday and we asked three "Times of Northwest Indiana" reporters to join us to talk about the May 8th primary election races they kept track of -- Bill Dolan, Dan Carden and Carmen McCollum.  Carmen reported on the Lake Central and Crown Point school referenda questions.  The "Times'" Lauren Cross talked about her story on the financial questions under review of the city of Gary's ambulance and EMS-related bank accounts.  And Chicago "Tribune" reporter Michael Hawthorne talks about his story of more lead contamination found in neighborhoods in northwest

There's already a record number of women running for House seats and governorships in 2018 — and women Senate candidates are on track to break records as well.

On the first big night of the 2018 primaries this week, those women fared particularly well.

Former Union Leader Talks Jobs Under President Trump

May 9, 2018

Retired union leader Chuck Jones believes President Donald Trump has not kept his promises to Hoosier workers. Jones’s statements come ahead of the president’s Thursday visit to Elkhart, a city that depends heavily on manufacturing jobs. 

According to Jones, Indiana residents don’t have to look further than the lost jobs at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis to see the President’s impact on Hoosier jobs.

While Jones said he appreciated the president making jobs a central campaign issue, he argues not much more has been done for workers since.

Tritch Takes Dem Primary To Challenge Banks

May 9, 2018
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Rebecca Green

The Democratic primary race for Indiana's 3rd Congressional District helped drive voter turnout in Allen County, more than tripling the number of the previous primary.

 

IndyStar.com

Today:  we have highlights of the races in the May 8th primary election, along with reaction from winners and from the "Times" reporters and political observers who joined us on Tuesday night's four-hour broadcast.

State Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) won the 4th District Republican primary Tuesday. (Indiana House Republicans)
Brandon Smith

State Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) scored a surprise victory Tuesday in the Republican primary for Indiana’s 4th Congressional seat – the seat opened by Rep. Todd Rokita’s (R-Brownsburg) Senate run.

Donnelly Says He's Ready For Fight Against Braun

May 9, 2018
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) says he's ready for a fight against Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) officially welcomed Republican Mike Braun Wednesday to what’s likely to be one of the most contentious races in the country this fall.

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Rebecca Green

Indiana’s GOP field for November’s election appears to be in place.

 

Mike Braun won the three-man battle to unseat Joe Donnelly in the US Senate, earning 41.1 percent of the vote in Allen County over opponents Rep. Luke Messer (R-6th) and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-4th).

 

Despite the testy nature of the race, Allen County GOP chairman Steve Shine says he hopes the three can set aside their differences, and for Braun to have support as he now looks to take Donnelly’s seat.

 

Two State Lawmakers Lose Primaries In Upsets

May 8, 2018
Rep. Dick Hamm (R-Richmond) and Sen. Joe Zakas (R-Granger) lost their primary races. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Most incumbents in state House and Senate races sailed to easy victories Tuesday – with two exceptions, including one of the longest-serving members of the current General Assembly.

Voters Across Indiana Approve More School Funding

May 8, 2018

Every one of the 12 school funding measures on the primary ballot passed this week.

Anderson Community Schools had two measures on the line, for school operations and construction. Both passed with around 60 percent of voter approval.

Goshen Community Schools also had two measures up for consideration, but the margin of victory was a bit closer – both passed with a little more than 50 percent of the vote.

Democrat Tobi Beck and Republican state Rep. Jim Baird will face off in November to fill Todd Rokita's seat in the U.S. House. Rokita’s departure made for a wide and competitive race. Seven candidates sought the Republican seat and six for the Democrat spot.

Braun Wins Republican U.S. Senate Primary

May 8, 2018

Businessman and former state Rep. Mike Braun will square off this fall with incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

Braun emerged the victor Tuesday from a bruising Republican primary against U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita.

Hoosiers Warned About Voter Participation Letter

May 4, 2018
(Photo provided to IPB News)
Jill Sheridan

People across Indiana are contacting the Secretary of States office to report they’ve received letters that claim to be voting record audits. 

The letter from the “Indiana State Voter Report Program” lists voter information on past participation as well as that of friends and neighbors.  

Indiana has restrictions on voter participation records, only providing it to political parties and legislative caucuses.  

(Darron Cummings/Indiana Debate Commission)

On this Reporter's Roundtable Thursday, we turn to Dan Carden of the "Times of Northwest Indiana" for his stories on the final U.S. Senate candidates' debate held in Indianapolis and other stories this week -- and to Carole Carlson of the "Post-Tribune" for her stories about the upcoming primary election.  Indiana Public Broadcasting's Brandon Smith completes his series of Senate candidate conversations with Todd Rokita. And we also have reporters and editors from the "Times" in one of the "That's So Region" podcasts. 

Voter advocacy groups say an Indiana law will illegally throw Hoosiers off the voting rolls. And they’re suing to stop the state from using that law. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Voter advocacy groups say an Indiana law will illegally throw Hoosiers off the voting rolls. And they’re suing to stop the state from using that law.

A federal court hearing Wednesday centered on Indiana’s use of what’s known as the Interstate Crosscheck system.

The Senate Republican primary's final debate was a microcosm of the race: the candidates focused mostly on attacking each other. (Darron Cummings/Indiana Debate Commission)
Brandon Smith

There are three Republicans vying for a chance to unseat incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) – former state representative Mike Braun, Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg) and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg). Their race has been dubbed one of the nastiest in the country. It's a campaign where attacks have been many, while policy differences are few.

GOP Senate Candidates On The Attack In Final Debate

Apr 30, 2018
Indiana's Republican U.S. Senate candidates (from left) Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg), Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg), and Mike Braun greet each other after the final debate before the May primary election. (Darron Cummings/Indiana Debate Commission)
Brandon Smith

The final debate between Republican U.S. Senate candidates Mike Braun, U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg) and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) was focused almost entirely on attacks between each candidate.

The moderator at one point implored them to answer his specific question – a request the candidates mostly ignored.

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) is one of three candidates vying for a chance to challenge incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) (Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) is one of three candidates hoping to emerge from the state’s Republican primary and face incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) this fall. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith discussed the campaign with Rokita, who formerly served as Indiana’s Secretary of State.

Barbara Brosher / WTIU/WFIU

For the final time in the Republican Primary race, U.S. Rep.'s Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, along with Mike Braun, will debate for the U.S. Senate race. The winner in the May 8th primary election will go on to face Democratic incumbent, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly.

The live video stream is available here:

Messer Discusses Issues In Bruising Senate Primary

Apr 27, 2018
Rep. Luke Messer (R-Greensburg) is one of three Republicans vying to unseat incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) (Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Three Republican candidates are jockeying for a chance to unseat Democratic incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly this year. Luke Messer joined that race after serving in Congress since 2013 – with a few years at the Statehouse on his resume before that. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith talked with Messer about issues in the bruising GOP primary campaign.

Former state representative Mike Braun is one of three candidates running for a chance to face incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) (Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Indiana’s three Republican U.S. Senate candidates – Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, and businessman Mike Braun – will meet Monday evening for the final debate before the May 8 primary.

That's amid controversy that’s swirled around the event hosted by the nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission.

Last month, Rokita said no to the Indiana Debate Commission. Commission President Gerry Lanosga says he was surprised.

Federal Judge: Marion County Must Open More Early Voting Sites

Apr 26, 2018

A federal judge ruled Marion County must provide at least two new early voting satellite sites before the November election.

Common Cause Indiana, the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP and others filed suit last year arguing the county’s single early voting site suppressed voting.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker agreed with their argument in an injunction issued Wednesday.

When the polls close, you'll know. Tune-in for election night coverage, beginning at 6:00 PM, Tuesday, May 8th. You can follow the latest updates on social media, as well, with #NWIPolitics.

Starting at 6:00 PM, Lakeshore Public Radio - 89.1 FM will air statewide primary election night coverage from Indiana Public Broadcasting. Stan Jastrzebski, News Director of WBAA, will host the first hour of coverage from West Lafayette, IN.

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