June 14, 2024

Trump endorses GOP lieutenant governor candidate in Indiana

Rep. Julie McGuire has U.S. Sen. Mike Braun’s support to be his running mate in the governor’s race. - Photo from the Indiana House Republicans Flickr

Rep. Julie McGuire has U.S. Sen. Mike Braun’s support to be his running mate in the governor’s race.

Photo from the Indiana House Republicans Flickr

Former President Donald Trump issued an unexpected endorsement in Indiana’s Republican lieutenant governor race Thursday — backing Rep. Julie McGuire for the nomination.

She is the choice of GOP gubernatorial primary winner U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, a staunch Trump advocate.

The move comes as 1,800 Republican party insiders prepare to choose on Saturday who’s on the ballot for Indiana’s second-highest office. It’s the first competitive lieutenant governor contest in decades.

Delegates have a choice between Christian nationalist and pastor Micah Beckwith — who’s been on the campaign trail for a year since launching an unusually public bid — and McGuire, who’s been on the road for the month since her post-primary campaign launch.

The endorsement from Trump will carry a lot of weight with Indiana Republicans, whose support of the now-convicted felon has remained high in Indiana.

“Julie is a conservative Fighter who will strongly advocate for our Great Farmers and American Agriculture, Support our Military/Veterans, Defend the Second Amendment and Provide our Children with Excellent Education,” Trump said in a Truth Social post. “Julie McGuire has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Delegates traditionally lean more conservative than Republican general election and even primary election voters. And they haven’t always fallen in line with party leadership.

Beckwith has argued that Hoosiers need a check-and-balance on the governor’s office and has referred to McGuire as an establishment choice. McGuire calls herself a policy wonk and defends her strong conservative voting record.

Also at the convention, delegates will nominate Attorney Todd Rokita for re-election. He is running unopposed.

The Indianapolis Star also reported Thursday that current Gov. Eric Holcomb will not attend this weekend’s convention.

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