Indiana Senate candidates spar over style, not as much on substance

Luke Messer (left), Todd Rokita, and Mike Braun (Photos supplied/Official headshots0

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Candidates in Indiana’s Republican U.S. Senate primary faced off against each other during a raucous debate.

U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, as well as former state Rep. Mike Braun, were at the Tuesday evening event in downtown Indianapolis.

The candidates had few major policy differences. Instead, they sought to set themselves apart based on style.

Messer sought to claim the mantle of being the only adult among the candidates and a party uniter.

Rokita went on the attack, portraying himself as a conservative iconoclast, intent on torching the GOP establishment.

And Braun presented himself as an outsider businessman who built a successful auto parts distribution empire.

Those are the same themes that the campaigns have already sought to establish.

The debate was sponsored by the Indiana chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a national political operation funded by billionaire industrialist brothers David and Charles Koch. It was moderated by conservative WIBC radio commentator Tony Katz.

The winner of the May primary will go on to face Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in the November election.

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