Indiana senate candidates throw barbs as primary nears

Indiana senate candidates throw barbs as primary nears
Candidates for Indiana state Senate, in alphabetical order from left: Braun, Messer, Rokita.

INDIANAPOLIS (WAVE) - It's a U.S. Senate seat Republicans believe they should be able to win.

Indiana voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump as President, and now Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly will face one of three GOP challengers as he seeks a second term.

A debate in Indianapolis on Monday night had the candidates trying to differentiate themselves when their stands on the major issues are quite similar.

>> RELATED: Your guide to the 2018 Indiana U.S. Senate race

Congressman Todd Rokita scoffed at Luke Messer's support from Politifax.

"That's a liberal organization that rubber stamps Democratic ideas," Rokita said. "Of course they're going to rubber stamp Luke Messer's campaign because he's the weakest candidate."

Meanwhile, Congressman Messer attacked Mike Braun's voting record.

"I think it's important to ask -- what other lifetime Republican do you know who voted Democrat in Democratic primaries for 38 years?" Messer said. "We're not going to beat Joe Donnelly with another Joe Donnelly."

Former state representative Braun, who touted his many years of business experience, blasted his opponents as career politicians.

"These guys have had their money given to them by taxpayers like me and they're part of the problem," Braun said. "You can't send two career politicians there that are calculating their votes to get re-elected, based upon who wrote them a campaign check."

The latest poll on the GOP Senate primary from early April shows Braun up by 10 points. Voters will head to the polls in the primary election on May 8 in Indiana.

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