I’ve been approached with questions concerning the authenticity of Mike Braun and his support. So I did some more digging into his background to see what I could find in the numbers. Despite some suspicion from others, Braun is not Jewish—according to Vote Smart he is a member of Saint Joseph Catholic Church. However, this doesn’t clear his name entirely as there are some fishy details with his campaign finances which I’ll soon get into.
The main question I have about Braun, which I could not find information on, is who recruited him to enter the race. He didn’t announce his candidacy until late in 2017, well after Messer and Rokita commenced their campaigns, so surely there must be donors or other political influencers behind the curtain who encouraged him to jump into the race. I’ll continue to research his motivations, but if anyone in Indiana knows anything please feel free to send me any inside intelligence.
Now let’s get into the numbers.
As founder and CEO of Meyer Distributing, Mike Braun has accumulated a small fortune, with an estimated net worth of $66 million. His company boasts more than $400 million in annual sales volume.
Mike Braun has stated he believes a successful campaign would cost anywhere from $4 million to $6 million, and that he would be willing to front up to $5 million of his own personal money toward his campaign. While Messer and Rokita have been hesitant spend large sums this early in the primary, Braun has already dropped nearly $1 million on TV and radio ads to combat his relatively low name recognition.
According to Vote Smart, if you exclude his personal funds toward the campaign, Braun has raised $77,039.73 between 136 total contributions. Other sources report his total fundraising to be over $200,000, excluding his personal money. I’ve listed some more data points from Vote Smart below:
– Total fundraising in-state fundraising: $48,589.73
– Total out-of-state fundraising: $28,450.00
– Total Individual contributions: $13,278.54
– Contributions classified as “Other,” coming from unspecified sectors and industries: $43,628.54
Additionally, a super PAC has been formed to support Braun. Our Indiana Voice, which has no spending limit or set budget, will spend on behalf of Braun’s campaign and is composed of leadership from the consulting firms Norway Hill Associates, Strategic Impact, and SRCPmedia.
Looking at the big picture, Braun led all Republicans in fourth quarter fundraising with $2 million raised, although most of that sum is comprised of his own personal loans to the campaign. Regarding cash on hand, Braun has pulled nearly even with Messer and Rokita; however, Donnelly still leads the pack in fundraising overall.