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Indiana U.S. Senate candidates square off in first debate

Photo Supplied - Jon Zimney

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP/WOWO): The three candidates vying for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat all took the stage Monday night in the first of two October debates. The forum, held at the Purdue University Northwest campus, featured moderator Anne Ryder and audience members presenting questions to incumbent democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, Republican former state Rep. Mike Braun and Libertarian Lucy Brenton.

Libertarian Lucy Brenton

The candidates had 60 seconds to respond to each question with the opportunity for rebuttals. Some of the major topics covered were climate control, the Iran nuclear deal, gun safety, foreign policy, and health care.

Republican businessman Mike Braun and Democratic Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly did not agree on much, but both conceded one point during Monday night’s debate: they both support President Donald Trump.

Unlike many Democrats across the U.S., Donnelly touted his support for President Trump, pointing out his vote to confirm Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Republican former state Rep. Mike Braun

That’s not entirely a surprise. The vulnerable incumbent is one of a handful of Democrats running for re-election in states Trump won.

The two also sparred over health care, the Iran nuclear deal that Trump jettisoned and Donnelly’s “no” vote on Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh.

Donnelly said Braun isn’t to be trusted. Braun said Donnelly is a career politician who needs to go.

The next debate is scheduled for Tuesday, October 30th in Indianapolis at the Toby Theater, (Indianapolis Museum of Art.)

Incumbent democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly

All three candidates on the ballot are participating and WOWO will be airing the debate live. Meantime, Hoosier voters can continue submitting proposed questions for the Senate debate online at


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