IN Brief

Republican gubernatorial candidates line up behind Trump

By: - January 24, 2024 5:39 pm

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump (C) takes the stage with supporters, campaign staff and family members for a primary night party at the Sheraton on January 23, 2024 in Nashua, New Hampshire. New Hampshire voters cast their ballots in their state’s primary election today, with former President Donald Trump winning the primary, finishing ahead of former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Nearly all major Republican candidates for governor enthusiastically back former President Donald Trump in his bid for a second term with one exception — former Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, who hasn’t indicated a preference.

On Tuesday night, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch formally endorsed Trump following his victory in the New Hampshire primary, which she called “a testament to his popularity and resilience.”

“We need a president who grows the economy—not our list of enemies. We need a return to economic growth, a strong foreign policy, and a chief executive who cares about our borders. All Republicans need to unite behind the next president of the United States—Donald Trump,” she said in a statement.

Previously she had demurred on the topic.

That didn’t stop U.S. Sen. Mike Braun from criticizing her along with other candidates for not backing him less than 30 minutes after her release.

“Trump’s win in (New Hampshire) is decisive. Republicans in Indiana and around the country are uniting behind Trump to defeat Biden. It’s sad @Suzanne_Crouch can’t even utter the words she “endorses” Donald Trump for president, but even worse @ChambersforIN and (Eric) @DodenforIndiana won’t even say his name!”

While her statement didn’t use the word endorse, the headline of her news release did.

Braun endorsed Trump in September and Trump returned the favor in November.

Doden, a Fort Wayne businessman, quote tweeted Braun Wednesday afternoon, saying, “I supported President Trump in 2016 and I supported him in 2020. I will support him in 2024 because someone has to actually back the blue and clean up the messes in Washington DC that you never could, Senator.”

When asked by the Indiana Capital Chronicle, former Attorney General Curtis Hill said, “From the beginning of our campaign, I have been vocal about the weaponization of justice against President Trump. I stood with him as our Attorney General and I stand with him now. I have never shied away from supporting him. I am proud of his record as President and I know he will get our country back on the right track. It is time Republicans unite behind President Trump and focus on beating Joe Biden this November.”

Chambers’ campaign didn’t respond when asked multiple times Wednesday by the Indiana Capital Chronicle about whether he’d endorse Trump.

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Whitney Downard
Whitney Downard

A native of upstate New York, Whitney previously covered statehouse politics for CNHI’s nine Indiana papers, focusing on long-term healthcare facilities and local government. Prior to her foray into Indiana politics, she worked as a general assignment reporter for The Meridian Star in Meridian, Mississippi. Whitney is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (#GoBonnies!), a community theater enthusiast and cat mom.

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