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GOP governor candidates announce big fundraising hauls

By Leslie Bonilla Muniz

Indiana Capital Chronicle

Jan. 5, 2023

As U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (above, right) announced a new fundraising record for Indiana’s 2024 governor race, Fort Wayne businessman Eric Doden (above, left) is plugging his own numbers, insisting the race is “wide-open.”

Meanwhile Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (above, center) has been quieter about her cash.

All three are seeking the Republican nomination with a campaign finance reporting deadline Jan. 18.

Braun’s campaign said Tuesday that it had raised $1.5 million since its launch in late November, and transferred in another $1.5 million from his Senate campaign fund. Braun will start 2023 with $2.9 million on hand, according to a news release.

“It’s truly humbling to have the support of Hoosiers,” Braun said, also pointing to positive grassroots donor and statewide poll numbers.

Doden’s campaign responded Wednesday, announcing that it had raised $3.38 million by the end of the year — Doden’s been running since 2021 — and had $2.8 million left on hand.

About $640k was contributed in the most recent reporting period between October 15 and the end of the year.

In a news release, Doden’s campaign said that fundraising prowess “shows [a] wide-open” race for governor. His campaign criticized Braun for transferring money it said was “raised from D.C. insiders and lobbyists.”

Both campaigns have sought to position their candidates as a “conservative businessman.” Doden, however, has also tried to paint himself as a political outsider, and Braun as an insider.

Crouch’s campaign hasn’t released updated numbers but The Associated Press reported that Crouch, who was Holcomb’s running mate in 2016 and 2020, collected almost $315,000 from 16 large contributors since July 1.

“We exceeded our 2022 fundraising goals, and our numbers are strong,” Crouch said in a statement to the Capital Chronicle. “I will be competitive with anyone in this Governor’s race.”

She had $2.5 million on hand as of June 30, according to campaign finance records. She officially entered the race in late November as well.

Updated information — including full reports that list donors, loans and spending — isn’t due to the Indiana Election Division until January 18.

Gov. Eric Holcomb is term-limited and can’t run, but Hoosier Republicans want to keep the state’s top elected position in their party’s hands.

Meanwhile, the options for Democrats look slim.

Indiana Capital Chronicle is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Indiana Capital Chronicle maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Niki Kelly for questions: info@indianacapitalchronicle.com.

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