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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb confident GOP nominee Mike Braun will prevail as governor this fall

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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb confident GOP nominee Mike Braun will prevail as governor this fall

Jun 24, 2024 | 6:00 am ET
By Casey Smith
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Indiana Gov. Erc Holcomb confident GOP nominee Mike Braun will prevail as governor this fall
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Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks to reporters at the Indiana Global Economic Summit in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Leslie Bonilla Muñiz/Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Amid in-party turmoil over the selection of conservative pastor Micah Beckwith as the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he remains confident that Republicans will prevail in the executive office race in November.

“I anticipate Sen. Braun becoming Gov. Braun,” Holcomb told the Indiana Capital Chronicle on Friday. “It’s the convention’s choice. And we had a process that’s been in place that I have always respected, and the convention spoke. And so, it is what it is, and now we’re onto the general election.”

Indiana’s GOP delegates narrowly named Beckwith as the Republican nominee for the position in a shocking vote at the party’s convention earlier this month, rebuffing first-term Rep. Julie McGuire — Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Braun’s handpicked choice for the role — who had received a last-minute endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

Beckwith ran an unorthodox solo campaign for the number two spot, publicly pitching himself as both the prospective governor’s cheerleader and a check on his power.

The pastor has referred to himself as a Christian nationalist and was instrumental in a push to relocate or ban allegedly inappropriate books in Hamilton County but later resigned from the library board. 

The GOP delegates’ pick has since prompted concerns among some within the Indiana Republican Party. In a confidential memo, prominent conservative attorney Jim Bopp predicted that Beckwith could be catastrophic for Braun’s campaign and open the door for a Democratic victory.

Holcomb, however, expects Braun’s campaign to weather any doubts. 

“There will be a campaign that will play out, and the folks that are responsible for conducting that campaign will have to make calls along the way,” the governor said. “And I’m going to have to conduct the affairs of my office that aren’t campaign related. I’m going to remain focused on being the best governor I can over the next 208 days. It’s 4,900 hours, and I’ve got a lot to do every single day.”

“We have so many good things in the pipeline right now that I’m looking to land, announce, set up for the next administration,” he continued. “But my job is to make sure that I leave (the office) in a great position, and so I’ll continue to be serving in my official capacity as the governor — not getting involved in all the campaigns.”

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jennifer McCormick announced former Indiana lawmaker and social conservative Terry Goodin as her running mate last week, despite pushback from some within her party over Goodin’s voting record on abortion and gay marriage.

Already, campaigning by McCormick and Goodin has criticized Beckwith. The Indiana Democratic Party has additionally excoriated Beckwith’s positions as “extreme,” and in a statement, Democratic Party Chairman Mike Schmuhl told the Capital Chronicle that Beckwith’s “absurd views have Republicans scrambling, and rightfully so.”

Likewise, Republicans are focusing on Goodin’s change of heart on key issues as flip-flopping.

Indiana Democratic Party State Convention delegates will officially choose a candidate for lieutenant governor on July 13.

The Libertarian ticket is Donald Rainwater and Tonya Hudson.