Todd Rokita

Jim Baird Likely to Be Next Congressman From Indiana’s 4th District
State legislator surprises by defeating opponents who outraised him

Indiana state Rep. Jim Baird won the GOP nomination in the 4th District on Tuesday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Indiana state Rep. Jim Baird won the Republican nomination for the 4th District on Tuesday, defeating two opponents who outraised and outspent him.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Baird had 36 percent of the vote to 30 percent for businessman Steve Braun and 15 percent for former gubernatorial aide Diego Morales, according to The Associated Press. 

Mike Braun Wins Indiana GOP Senate Primary
Ex-state representative will face vulnerable Democrat Joe Donnelly in November

Former Indiana state Rep. Mike Braun will face Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Businessman and former state Rep. Mike Braun won the Republican nod for Senate in Indiana on Tuesday. He’ll take on Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly in one of the most competitive races in the country.

Outspending his opponents, Braun defeated Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer to win the nomination. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Braun had 41 percent of the vote to 30 percent for Messer and 29 percent for Rokita, according to The Associated Press.

5 Things to Watch on Primary Day This Tuesday
Nasty GOP Senate primaries remain ugly until the end

Former Indiana state Rep. Mike Braun, right, and Rep. Todd Rokita, speaking, are running for the GOP nomination for Senate, along with Rep. Luke Messer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tuesday marks the first big primary day of 2018. Voters go to the polls in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Most of the exciting action is on the Republican side. In all of those states (except for North Carolina), Democratic senators are trying to hold on to seats in territory President Donald Trump won in 2016, which means the GOP primaries are high-stakes contests. (More on that below.)

Opinion: The Case for Ugly Primaries
The process is messy, but it can reveal much

Don Blankenship, who is running for the Republican nomination for Senate in West Virginia, conducts a town hall meeting at Macado’s restaurant in Bluefield, W.Va., on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

You can’t blame Republican leaders for trying to pick the winner of Tuesday’s West Virginia primary ahead of time when the words “prison” and “supervised release” show up in nearly every story about Don Blankenship. The Senate hopeful and former coal executive did a year behind bars recently for the dangerously unsafe conditions in his coal mines, but is now somehow surging in the polls.

Republicans want a strong general election candidate to take on Sen. Joe Manchin in November, and trying to block a jailbird from the GOP nomination seems like a no-brainer. Add to that Blankenship’s willingness to savage Mitch McConnell as “Cocaine Mitch” and call the father of his wife, Elaine Chao, a “Chinaperson,” and it would take a Herculean amount of strength for the Senate majority leader and his supporters not to get sucked into a fight against one of their own.

Hollingsworth Won‘t Face Primary — Accused of Buying 2016 Seat
Indiana freshman impresses in Washington and at home

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind., won a five-way primary in 2016 by spending lots of his own money. This year, he doesn’t even have a viable primary challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Recent Tennessee transplant Trey Hollingsworth faced widespread attacks in 2016 from Republicans and Democrats, who accused him of trying to buy an Indiana congressional seat.

But he withstood those charges, winning a contested GOP primary and then the general election by double digits in the 9th District. He’s now the 12th wealthiest lawmaker in Washington, according to Roll Call’s “Wealth of Congress” analysis.

5 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Congressional Primaries
 

GOP Senate Hopefuls in House Nominate Trump for Nobel Peace Prize
Move comes ahead of key primary battles in Indiana, West Virginia

Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., is among the House Republicans who’ve nominated President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five incumbent House Republicans running for Senate have co-signed a letter nominating President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

It’s a move that could curry favor with the president and his supporters just a week before pivotal primaries in states such as West Virginia and Indiana, two Trump states where GOP candidates are trying to align themselves with the White House.

Report: Trump Campaign Demands Rokita Take Down Yard Signs
Say they give a false impression Trump endorsed Indiana Senate candidate

Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., who is running for the Republican nomination for Senate in Indiana, addresses voters in South Bend, Indiana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign said Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita’s campaign signs give the false impression that Trump endorsed his Senate candidacy.

Two people told The Associated Press that Trump’s campaign wants Rokita's campaign to take down the signs.

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Todd Rokita on the Most Important Part of His Driving Memo
Roll Call rides with Indiana Republican as he campaigns for Senate

Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita talks with guests at the Kosciusko County Republican Fish Fry in Warsaw, Ind., on April 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita has a reputation for driving hundreds of miles a day during his statewide Senate campaigns.

The day this reporter was with him last week, the Republican lawmaker was on track to put 500 miles on his unmarked white Chevrolet Tahoe, a surplus police vehicle he bought for the campaign. (He went with Crown Victorias for his two earlier campaigns for Indiana secretary of state.)