JASPER, IND. — A self-made multi-millionaire is about to make it rain in Indiana.
During an exclusive interview with the Washington Examiner, Mike Braun announced his plans to spend nearly $5 million of his own money to win the Republican Senate primary.
“If I can get by with 70 percent of the campaign, if that’s all my skin in the game, that’d be as good as it could possibly be,” Braun said slowly as he leaned back in his chair and looked up at the ceiling of his disorganized corner office at Meyer Distributing, the national auto parts distributor he founded. “If I have to put up to 80 percent,” he continued, “well that’s a possibility.”
A one-term member of the Indiana House of Representatives and a graduate of Harvard Business school, Braun estimates a successful bid will “take about four or six million.”
That’s more money than any other candidate has on hand and that means more problems for Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, the two conventional candidates who, until recently, were expected to battle it out between themselves for the nomination. At the end of the third quarter, according to federal financial disclosures, Messer had a war chest worth $2.41 million and Rokita, $2.37 million.
While those candidates have held onto their cash, Braun has already dropped almost a million on radio and television ads. By spending early and “by striking while the iron is hot,” the little-known businessman says he hopes to overcome low name recognition in the state ahead of the May 8 primary. He can certainly afford it. His estimated net worth, the Journal Gazette reports, is $66 million.