Crouch leads governor race with cash on hand — but Braun picking up steam

By: - January 24, 2023 6:30 am

Eric Doden, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, left to right, are candidates for governor in 2024. (Collage of official portraits)

Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch has the most cash on hand in a three-way race for governor, but U.S. Sen. Mike is out-raising her and businessman Eric Doden, according to campaign finance filings due last week. All three announced candidates are Republicans.

Braun’s campaign logged more than $2.9 million in contributions — some of it transferred from his own federal accounts — during the period running July 2022 through the end of that year, according to filings. Braun’s next-biggest donor was the Wisconsin-based Hoosier PAC, at $500,000.

He also kept spending light, recording just $11,000 in expenses largely labeled as credit card merchant fees.

Braun didn’t enter the race until the end of November.

Crouch’s campaign, meanwhile, recorded more than $900,000 in contributions, according to her filings. Her top donor was automobile industry executive Richard Keith Byers.

And Crouch also spent more, at $250,000 — much of it related to advertising, events and meetings. She also gave to numerous political campaigns and county Republican groups. But Crouch began with $2.5 million in the bank.

Her campaign still holds a narrowing lead in cash on hand, with nearly $3.2 million in the bank by the end of last year, compared to Braun’s $2.9 million.

Doden, who has been running for governor since 2021, began July with a hefty $1.2 million on hand, but added just $676,000 in the most recent period, according to his filings. He spent almost as much as Crouch, at $220,000, ending 2022 with a still-significant $2.8 million.

That’s despite plugging large amounts of his own cash into the campaign: Doden and his wife Maci each donated $50,000 during that period of time, for a total of $100,000. Fort Wayne-based Ambassador Enterprises LLC, an investment company founded and run by Doden’s father, was his biggest donor with $100,000.

Doden was also the only candidate who reported debt: about $25,000 owed to Tennessee-based Red Dog Media, an internet marketing company.

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Leslie Bonilla Muñiz
Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie joins the Indiana Capital Chronicle after covering city government and urban affairs for the Indianapolis Business Journal for more than a year. She graduated from Northwestern University in March 2021, and has reported for the Chicago Tribune, Voice of America and student publications in Evanston, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Doha, Qatar.

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