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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: 751526

Reported Deaths: 13799
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033281788
Lake557151010
Allen41710692
St. Joseph36998565
Hamilton36604417
Elkhart29413461
Tippecanoe22914227
Vanderburgh22559400
Porter19359326
Johnson18477389
Hendricks17689317
Clark13228195
Madison13158344
Vigo12625253
LaPorte12420221
Monroe12211176
Delaware10968198
Howard10337225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8577147
Bartholomew8172157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7812180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6972103
Morgan6765141
Dubois6221118
Marshall6211116
Cass6017110
Henry5902110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509176
Shelby501796
Lawrence4745122
Gibson445094
Clinton442755
Harrison441775
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438490
Whitley406643
Huntington403181
Steuben400259
Miami395269
Jasper388654
Knox376391
Putnam373260
Wabash362383
Ripley347270
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332253
Daviess3033100
Wells295381
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273172
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246136
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234631
Starke228058
Fountain221048
Sullivan214643
Owen212158
Fulton203042
Jay200932
Carroll193720
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166446
Parke149616
Pike138134
Blackford136232
Pulaski120747
Newton114336
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101914
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
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