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Vice president's brother wins GOP bid for his old House seat

The brother of Vice President Mike Pence capitalized on his famous name and backing from other top Republicans to win an Indiana congressional primary Tuesday against an entrepreneur who mostly self-funded his campaign.

Posted: May 8, 2018 8:40 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The brother of Vice President Mike Pence capitalized on his famous name and backing from other top Republicans to win an Indiana congressional primary Tuesday against an entrepreneur who mostly self-funded his campaign.

Columbus businessman Greg Pence has never held a public office. Still, he easily won the primary largely because of his younger brother, who represented the 6th District for a dozen years before becoming Indiana governor.

Pence told supporters Tuesday night that he was humbled by the primary victory.

"I'm ready to serve again," he said. "This victory is thanks to you, the many Hoosiers who have helped build this campaign from the ground up and voted for us."

His closest GOP rival was Muncie entrepreneur Jonathan Lamb, who loaned his campaign around $800,000 in an effort to keep pace with Pence. Pence had raised $1.2 million and spent nearly $1 million as of mid-April, making it the most expensive race among Indiana's congressional districts.

The seat is open because incumbent Rep. Luke Messer is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

Lamb, 36, criticized his opponent for relying on the Pence name and dodging debates. He said he had a hard time telling where Pence stands on issues, although both profess support for most of President Donald Trump's agenda.

Pence said in a recent interview that his family name is a "good name" and that he prefers meeting voters instead of debating.

Pence, 61, is a Marine veteran and owner of two antique malls. He once ran a now-bankrupt chain of Tobacco Road convenience stores. He has said he would focus on issues such as infrastructure, veterans' affairs, fixing the immigration system and health care.

Some voters who cast ballots for Pence cited his more famous brother and support for Trump as reasons for backing him.

"He comes from a good family," said Ken Branch, a 57-year-old autoworker from New Palestine, Indiana, who voted at a polling site in a funeral home southeast of Indianapolis. "I like what they stand for — what I would call Christian values."

Also running in the GOP primary were Stephen MacKenzie, Mike Campbell and Jeff Smith.

Pence will face the top vote-getter among six Democrats: George Holland, K. Lave, Jeannine Lee Lake, Jim Pruett, Lane Siekman or Joshua Williamson.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 937221

Reported Deaths: 15239
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1276111977
Lake631621093
Allen53394752
Hamilton43720447
St. Joseph41805587
Elkhart33451489
Vanderburgh30262444
Tippecanoe26779249
Johnson23524417
Hendricks22143341
Porter21620345
Clark17363227
Madison17280382
Vigo16046276
Monroe14422191
LaPorte14263239
Delaware14014220
Howard13802272
Kosciusko11345135
Hancock10785163
Warrick10641176
Bartholomew10510167
Floyd10398204
Wayne9897222
Grant9068204
Morgan8833159
Boone8368110
Dubois7696123
Dearborn758489
Henry7563130
Noble7380101
Marshall7326128
Cass7160117
Lawrence6940153
Shelby6543110
Jackson653185
Gibson6124106
Harrison602885
Huntington597394
Montgomery5767105
DeKalb570791
Knox5417104
Miami539087
Putnam534067
Clinton532465
Whitley522652
Steuben495068
Wabash481592
Jasper477361
Jefferson466991
Ripley451975
Adams442566
Daviess4120108
Scott403964
White389457
Clay388456
Greene386890
Decatur383996
Wells383083
Fayette373178
Posey359041
Jennings351356
Washington330647
LaGrange319575
Spencer316635
Fountain313654
Randolph310688
Sullivan304847
Owen282761
Starke278562
Orange275059
Fulton274653
Jay253536
Perry250852
Carroll243128
Franklin237038
Vermillion231950
Rush231730
Parke218320
Tipton208955
Pike205639
Blackford167934
Pulaski162251
Crawford145418
Newton142745
Benton141916
Brown134646
Martin128016
Switzerland125210
Warren114216
Union95811
Ohio78511
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