Indiana Republican Gubernatorial Candidates to Debate Ahead of May 2024 Primary

Indiana's Republican governor candidates debate ahead of primary, with Braun's potential absence a point of contention. The winner is expected to win the November general election in the reliably Republican state.

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Indiana Republican Gubernatorial Candidates to Debate Ahead of May 2024 Primary

Indiana Republican Gubernatorial Candidates to Debate Ahead of May 2024 Primary

The six Republican candidates vying for Indiana's next governor will participate in a televised debate on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, two weeks ahead of the state's May 7 primary election. The candidates include U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, businessperson and former commerce secretary Brad Chambers, former commerce secretary Eric Doden, former Attorney General Curtis Hill, and Jamie Reitenour, a mother with no political experience.

The candidates have positioned themselves as outsiders despite some holding statewide roles. Braun has name recognition, money, and former President Donald Trump's endorsement, but may not be able to attend the debate due to Senate votes. Crouch has the most cash on hand, while Chambers and Doden have spent significant amounts on their campaigns. Hill has struggled to compete after losing the Republican delegation nomination in 2020 following allegations of groping. Reitenour has the backing of the Hamilton County Moms For Liberty group and has said she would appoint its leader to head the state education department.

Why this matters: The Republican primary winner is expected to win the November general election in the reliably Republican state. This debate is the last televised event before the primary vote, making it a vital opportunity for candidates to make their case to voters.

The debate, hosted by the Indiana Debate Commission, will take place at Indiana University Indianapolis' Hine Hall from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET and will be moderated by Jon Schwantes, host of PBS's 'Indiana Lawmakers.' It will be livestreamed and available for viewing through various media outlets.

In a statement, Braun blamed Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for scheduling the Senate vote that may prevent his attendance. "Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer is playing politics with our national security by unnecessarily delaying the vote by three days," Braun said. His campaign emphasized his endorsements from Trump, the Indiana State Police Alliance, and the National Troopers Coalition.

The other candidates criticized Braun's potential absence. Brad Chambers' senior strategist Marty Obst accused Braun of "insulting Hoosiers and putting himself first." Lt. Gov. Crouch stated that if elected governor, she will spend more time in Indiana than in Washington, D.C.

The debate comes as early voting has already started in Indiana. The Republican primary victor will face presumptive Democratic nominee Jennifer McCormick and Libertarian nominee Donald Rainwater in the November 5th general election. With the primary just two weeks away, the participating <a href="https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/republican-candidates-vying-for

Key Takeaways

  • 6 GOP candidates for Indiana governor to debate on April 23, 2024.
  • Braun may miss debate due to Senate vote, drawing criticism from other candidates.
  • Crouch has most cash, Chambers and Doden spent heavily on campaigns.
  • GOP primary winner expected to win November general election in Republican state.
  • Debate is last televised event before May 7 primary, crucial for candidates.