June 15, 2024

Pastor Micah Beckwith is Indiana GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, beating Mike Braun's pick

Micah Beckwith won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor by 63 votes out of more than 1,700 cast at the Indiana Republican Party state convention on June 15, 2024. - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Micah Beckwith won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor by 63 votes out of more than 1,700 cast at the Indiana Republican Party state convention on June 15, 2024.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Ultraconservative pastor Micah Beckwith scored a stunning upset Saturday to become the Indiana Republican Party’s nominee for lieutenant governor.

Beckwith defeated gubernatorial nominee Mike Braun’s pick for running mate at the state GOP convention in what Braun is calling a “bump in the road.”

Braun likened having a running mate who wasn’t his first choice to dealing with “feisty” employees or customers in his business. And he said it’s clear that he’s in charge.

“My running mate can say whatever he wants,” Braun said. “If it doesn’t make sense or it doesn’t resonate, remember: I’m going to be the governor.”

On stage in the wake of the vote, Braun welcomed Beckwith to the ticket.

“Everything you believe in, I have as well,” Braun said.

Beckwith, a self-proclaimed Christian nationalist, said he looks forward to working with Braun. He said he’s not going to be “divisive” or a “flamethrower.”

“I want to be a unifier. I want to extend an olive branch,” Beckwith said. “I want to make sure that people are heard. I think the conservative movement, the grassroots movement that I’m a part of — I believe they feel unheard.”

Beckwith built his campaign on the idea of being a check and balance to the governor. And he said the convention result further exposed divisions in the Republican Party.

Beckwith beat state Rep. Julie McGuire (R-Indianapolis) for the nomination by 891 votes to 828.

Beckwith is a pastor at Life Church and a former East Hamilton Public Library board member. He championed a policy at the library that resulted in the relocation of nearly 2,000 titles from the library system’s youth section to its general collection.

The policy barred books that contained repeated profanity, sex, violence, drug and alcohol use from the children’s and teen collections.

Some of the books that were removed from the youth section were critically acclaimed young adult classics, like Hoosier author John Green’s novels “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Looking for Alaska.”

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Following mounting criticism from Green and many others, the board opted to pause the policy last August. In November, the board voted to end the policy and return the vast majority of the relocated books to the library’s youth section. Beckwith was the only board member to vote against ending the policy. He resigned shortly after.

Beckwith previously ran in the 2020 GOP primary for U.S. House Indiana District 5

During the convention, delegates also officially nominated incumbent Todd Rokita as the GOP nominee for attorney general. He was unopposed at the convention.

Rokita took to the stage in boxing gloves and vowed to continue to be a fighter in the office.

“We have to take these gloves off, because the radicals won’t stop,” Rokita said.

Democrats will choose their nominees for attorney general and lieutenant governor next month.

WFYI contributed to this story.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org.

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