Trump endorses McGuire for Indiana lieutenant governor

Former President Donald Trump issued an unexpected endorsement in Indiana’s Republican lieutenant governor race Thursday — backing Rep. Julie McGuire for the nomination.

She is the choice of GOP gubernatorial primary winner U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, a staunch Trump advocate.

The move comes as 1,800 Republican party insiders prepare to choose on Saturday who’s on the ballot for Indiana’s second-highest office. It’s the first competitive lieutenant governor contest in decades.

Delegates have a choice between Christian nationalist and pastor Micah Beckwith — who’s been on the campaign trail for a year since launching an unusually public bid — and McGuire, who’s been on the road for the month since her post-primary campaign launch.

The endorsement from Trump will carry a lot of weight with Indiana Republicans, whose support of the now-convicted felon has remained high in Indiana.

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Trump Tower, on May 31 in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

“Julie is a conservative Fighter who will strongly advocate for our Great Farmers and American Agriculture, Support our Military/Veterans, Defend the Second Amendment and Provide our Children with Excellent Education,” Trump said in a Truth Social post. “Julie McGuire has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Delegates traditionally lean more conservative than Republican general election and even primary election voters. And they haven’t always fallen in line with party leadership.

Beckwith has argued that Hoosiers need a check-and-balance on the governor’s office and has referred to McGuire as an establishment choice. McGuire calls herself a policy wonk and defends her strong conservative voting record.

Also at the convention, delegates will nominate Attorney Todd Rokita for re-election. He is running unopposed.

The Indianapolis Star also reported Thursday that current Gov. Eric Holcomb will not attend this weekend’s convention.

Screenshot from Truth Social of the post in which former President Donald Trump endorses State Rep. Julie McGuire for Indiana Lieutenant Governor.

By Niki Kelly – The Indiana Capital Chronicle is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that covers state government, policy and elections.