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.

Shelbie J. Luna / Instagram

Ragen Hatcher and Jessica Renslow debate for the open State Representative of District 3 seat. Chris Nolte, host of "Regionally Speaking," moderated the debate, held at Temple Israel, in Gary, IN. The debate was in partnership with the League of Women Voters of the Calumet Area. Primary election night coverage will be on-air, on Tuesday, May 8th, at 6:00 PM, on Lakeshore Public Radio - 89.1 FM.

Click here for the Facebook Live video feed from the debate.

The first wave of 2018 school funding referenda are up for consideration in about two weeks. That means voters in several counties will have the power to approve or deny tax measures to make millions of dollars available for their local schools.

Purdue University economics professor Larry DeBoer says school funding referenda are usually more likely to pass in May, and the overall number of those winning voter approval has grown in recent years.

GOP Candidates Square Off In Second Primary Debate

Apr 24, 2018
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Allen County GOP

The three candidates facing off for the Republican Senate nomination in the May 8 primary election held their second debate Monday night in Fort Wayne.

Donnelly Announces Support For Trump Nominee Pompeo

Apr 23, 2018
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) says he had a productive conversation with Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo when they met earlier this month. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) announced Monday he’ll support President Trump’s Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo.

The Senate is expected to vote on Pompeo’s nomination this week – and the former CIA director and Kansas congressman is likely to secure enough votes to replace former Secretary Rex Tillerson.

That’s as progressive groups work to oppose Pompeo’s nomination.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Debate Commission’s April 30 televised U.S. Senate Republican primary debate includes a three-candidate field in what will be the only statewide debate offered live to hundreds of Indiana media outlets.

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita had initially declined, while Indiana businessman Mike Braun and U.S. Rep. Luke Messer had confirmed the hour-long time slot to debate. With all three now committed with an agreement signed today, the April 30 debate will be broadcast 7 p.m. EDT.

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) reversed a previous decision, announcing Tuesday he will participate in a Senate GOP primary debate organized by the nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission. (WFIU/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) reversed a previous decision, announcing Tuesday he will participate in a Senate GOP primary debate organized by the nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission.

Potential Spike In Young Voter Turnout, Poll Shows

Apr 12, 2018
A new national poll shows a potential spike in young people voting in this year’s midterm elections. (Daniel Morrison/Flickr)
Brandon Smith

A new national poll shows a potential spike in young people voting in this year’s midterm elections.

Thirty-seven percent of people under the age of 30 say they will definitely vote in November’s election. That’s up from 23 percent who said the same in 2014, the last midterm cycle.

Donnelly Re-Election Campaign Targets Women Voters

Apr 10, 2018

Supporters for U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)’s re-election campaign gathered in Indianapolis to make the case women should support Donnelly for a second term.

In 2016, 53 percent of Hoosier women voted for President Donald Trump.

But following the recent women’s marches in Indiana, Donnelly’s supporters, including state Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis), say they are confident some of those same women, who voted for Trump, will vote for Donnelly.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Debate Commission is now accepting questions from Hoosier voters for its April 30 statewide televised debate in the Republican U.S. Senate primary race. In keeping with its mission of “Putting Voters First,” the commission invites Hoosier voters to submit their questions on its revamped website, www.indianadebatecommission.com.

Voters don’t need a reason to vote early in-person, unlike when casting absentee ballots by mail. (Steve Burns/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

Hoosiers have until the end of the day Monday to register to vote in the May 8 primary election. And the first in-person ballots can be cast beginning Tuesday.

AP-Think Progress website

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana residents have less than a week left to register to vote in the May 8 primary election.

April 9 is the registration deadline. The Times reports that Indiana's secretary of state is encouraging residents who previously registered to vote to verify that their registration remains active and that the personal information in their voter record is correct.

Jessica Renslow / Facebook


Lakeshore Public Radio conversations with candidates for public office in the May 2018 primary election began on Monday with the two Democratic Party candidates for Indiana Senate District 1.  Veteran incumbent Senator Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) and his challenger, Fr. Mark Kurowski, came into the "Regionally Speaking" studio to talk about the reasons for running (or seeking re-election) and about the issues that affect Northwest Indiana residents.  The conversation became spirited at the end, as you can hear for yourself.

Provided / Indiana NOW

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana is seeing a sharp increase in the number of women running for a seat in the state's General Assembly.

The Indianapolis Star reports that 75 women are campaigning for the May primary election, which is double the number of women who ran four years ago.

This year 52 women are running on the Democrat side, compared to 22 women in 2014. The Republican side has 23 candidates, an increase from 15 in 2014.

Stephanie Wiechmann / WIPR

Both Mike Braun and Jonathan Lamb have a few things in common besides being conservative Republicans.  Both are business owners.  Both are largely self-financing their campaigns and hoping for grassroots donations.  And both are campaigning against opponents with much better name recognition in Indiana.

“So when they first ran for Congress, what do they do?  Talk a good game, get up there, start calculating their vote based upon who gave the campaign check, and to survive.  To make it to the next election.”

Seven GOP Candidates Debate For 4th District Seat

Mar 24, 2018
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Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

A crowded pool of Republican candidates for the 4th district congressional seat met in Lafayette Saturday to debate issues ranging from gun control to federal spending and online security. The debate comes more than a month ahead of the May 8th primary.

Seven candidates are vying for the GOP nomination for what was previously Congressman Todd Rokita’s seat before he announced his run for Senate.

INDIANAPOLIS – Republican U.S. Senate candidates Mike Braun and Luke Messer have agreed to debate April 30 in a televised statewide event organized by the independent Indiana Debate Commission.

Former state lawmaker Mike Braun and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) traded barbs while Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville) tried to stay above the fray in the first debate of the 2018 Republican primary for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.

Rokita set the tone early, using his opening statement to jab his opponents with oft-repeated claims: that Braun is new to the Republican Party and Messer doesn’t live in Indiana.

GOP Senate Candidates Set For First Debate

Feb 16, 2018

Indiana’s three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate – former state Rep. Mike Braun, U.S.Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville), and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) – will meet this week in the campaign’s first debate in the lead up to May’s primary.

The GOP primary’s tone has been described by some as nasty and rancorous. University of Indianapolis political science professor Laura Merrifield Wilson says that’s unlikely to change in the debate.

Messer, Rokita Dodge On DACA Path To Citizenship

Feb 2, 2018

Indiana U.S. Representatives – and U.S. Senate candidates – Luke Messer and Todd Rokita won’t say for sure whether they’ll support a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.

DACA is a federal program that shields undocumented immigrants who came to the U-S as children. About 10,000 Hoosiers are enrolled.

President Donald Trump says he supports a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, over a period of around a decade.

Rep. Messer (R-Shelbyville) says the focus in immigration negotiations needs to be border security.

Indianapolis Women’s March Calls For Midterm Election Turnout

Jan 20, 2018

Speakers at the event represented organizations like Indy 10 Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood and Spencer Pride. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)


More than a thousand people showed up Saturday for the Women’s March in Indianapolis. A diverse line-up of speakers focused primarily on this year’s midterm elections.

Congressman Luke Messer emerged the victor Saturday of a straw poll of Republican U.S. Senate candidates.

Each of the six GOP Senate candidates delivered a short speech before 326 party activists in attendance cast their votes in the event organized by the Indiana Republican Party.

Rep. Messer (R-Shelbyville) won at 45 percent (147 votes). He calls the result “important momentum.”

“But there’s a whole lot of work to do between now and Election Day,” Messer says. “In a lot of ways, this is just the green flag to the four-month race before us.”

Braun To Resign State House Seat Amid U.S. Senate Run

Oct 20, 2017

Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) will leave one elected office as he runs for another.

Braun announced Friday he will resign the seat in the Indiana House he’s held for three years as he vies for U.S. Senate.

Braun jumped into the Senate GOP primary in August. A wealthy business owner from Jasper, he poured $800,000 of his own money into his campaign in the last fundraising quarter.

Braun says he looks forward to serving Hoosiers in a different capacity as he steps down from his House seat. His resignation takes effect Nov. 1.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) was one of just six U.S. Senators invited to a White House dinner Tuesday to discuss President Donald Trump’s tax reform agenda.

Political analysts say Donnelly’s inclusion is a boost to his reelection campaign.

In a statement, Donnelly called the dinner a “good conversation.” He focused on his proposal to address outsourced jobs and use tax reform to punish companies that send positions overseas while rewarding those who return jobs to the U.S.

Sen. Donnelly Launches Re-Election Campaign

Aug 20, 2017

Sen. Joe Donnelly has made veterans issues a cornerstone of his first Senate term. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)
 

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) launched his re-election campaign this weekend. His visit Sunday to a veterans headquarters in Indianapolis was the start of a six-day RV trip around the state.

A four-term congressman who’s vice chair of the U.S. House Budget Committee launched his U.S. Senate campaign Wednesday by attempting to target the so-called “Washington elite.”

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Brownsburg) formally entered the Senate race, becoming the sixth Republican candidate trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

Rep. Luke Messer Officially Joins Senate Race

Jul 26, 2017

U.S Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville) will seek to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Granger) in 2018.

The announcement of Messer’s entrance into an increasingly crowded GOP field was understated: a Tweet with the simple message “We’re in!! See you at the picnic on August 12th.”

Below the message, his chosen logo: a partial outline of the state on a red field with the slogan “I Like Luke: U.S. Senate 2018.”

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