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Five of six GOP gubernatorial candidates to meet Tuesday in final debate


Five of six GOP gubernatorial candidates to meet Tuesday in final debate

Apr 22, 2024 | 1:22 pm ET
By Leslie Bonilla Muñiz
All six GOP gubernatorial candidates to meet Tuesday in final debate
The six GOP gubernatorial hopefuls participate in a March 11, 2024 debate in Carmel. (Whitney Downard/Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Five of the six Republicans hoping to be Indiana’s next governor will meet Tuesday for their last pre-primary debate, hosted by the nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission.

The candidates have met at three other debates and a business forum — although not everyone was invited to all the events.

Former Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch; former Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) leader Eric Doden, former Attorney General Curtis Hill and conservative activist Jamie Reitenour will participate.

Indiana Primary Election Day is May 7, 2024. Early voting has begun.

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun pulled out of the debate unexpectedly Monday evening, saying he needed to be in Washington D.C. to vote, according to a release from the Indiana Debate Commission. The Senate is expected to vote on a foreign aid package passed by the U.S. House on Saturday.

The Commission said if voting concludes early enough Braun could potentially still make it to the 7 p.m. event.

The participating candidates will answer questions posed primarily by the public; the commission invited Hoosiers to submit queries online and had received more than 100 as of April 15.

Jon Schwantes, host of PBS’s “Indiana Lawmakers,” will moderate the debate, held at 7-8:30 p.m. at IUPUI’s Hine Hall Auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m., but audience members must be seated by 6:45 p.m.

Weapons, signs and other campaign “paraphernalia” aren’t permitted, per the commission.

Hoosiers can also watch via any of the outlets listed on the commission’s website or online.

Major underwriters for the debate are AARP Indiana and the Indiana Broadcasters Association, according to the commission, with additional support from the Indiana Coalition for Open Government, the Indiana League of Women Voters of Indiana, the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation and Comcast.

Democratic presumptive nominee Jennifer McCormick is unopposed in the primary election and Libertarian nominee Donald Rainwater was chosen in a party convention.

The Republican primary victor will face them both in November’s general election.

The commission has conducted 24 debates since 2008. And it plans to conduct more ahead of the general election on November 5: including for governor and U.S. Senator.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, is term-limited.

This story was updated following news of U.S. Sen. Mike Braun’s withdrawal to stay in Washington D.C. for a vote.