The Latest: Rokita to formally announce Indiana Senate bid

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on Indiana's Senate race (all times local):

6:00 p.m.

Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita is entering the Republican Senate primary in an effort to unseat Sen. Joe Donnelly, who is viewed as one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election next year.

Rokita for months has signaled an interest in the race. In recent weeks he has feuded bitterly with fellow Republican Rep. Luke Messer, who is also seeking the Senate seat.

Rokita plans a formal announcement at the Indiana Statehouse on Wednesday morning.

A campaign ad provided to The Associated Press in advance of the announcement is rife with populist themes.

The commercial closely ties Rokita to President Donald Trump. A narrator urges voters to take the "next step" by voting for Rokita to "defeat the elite."


12:34 p.m.

A wealthy Indiana state legislator is joining what has already become a bitter campaign for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly next year.

State Rep. Mike Braun of Jasper said Tuesday that his background owning and operating a national auto parts distributor gives him outsider credentials for a primary race expected to include U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita.

If elected, Braun pledges to support President Donald Trump "as he takes on the DC swamp."

Braun was first elected to the Legislature in 2014 and is little known around the state.

But Braun says hostility between Messer and Rokita is turning off voters. He says that will help Donnelly, who is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election next year.

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