Indiana Democrats React to GOP’s Choice of Right-Wing Podcaster for Lieutenant Governor

FILE PHOTO — INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – APRIL 14: Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) speaks to guests at the 2023 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on April 14, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The forum is part of the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meetings & Exhibits which begins today and runs through Sunday. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

This story is based on information from the Indiana Capital Chronicle and press releases from Shelli Yoder and Jennifer McCormick’s campaign.

INDIANAPOLIS — June 16, 2024

Indiana Democrats are voicing strong opposition after the state’s Republican Party nominated Youth Pastor Micah Beckwith as their candidate for lieutenant governor. Beckwith, a right-wing podcaster from Noblesville’s Life Church, claimed in a Facebook video that God spoke to him and sent the insurrectionists to the Capitol on January 6.

During the GOP state convention, Beckwith narrowly won the nomination with 891 votes, edging out Rep. Julie McGuire, who received 828 votes despite a last-minute endorsement from former President Donald Trump. This marked the first competitive race for Indiana’s second-highest office in decades.

“There’s no doubt about this. I’m in charge,” said Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike Braun following the vote. “And Micah is going to be someone that works with me. And if he doesn’t, … it will probably not be as fruitful in terms of what we can get done.”

Braun and Beckwith are now set to run alongside incumbent Attorney General Todd Rokita, who was nominated by voice vote without opposition.

“I want to tell you one thing, the Republican Party should be incredibly excited around the state of Indiana right now,” Beckwith said to cheers after the announcement. “I want to say this about our next governor, Mike Braun. I’m excited to work with that man. He’s going to do great things for our state. I have said my job as lieutenant governor will be to do everything in my power to make him the most successful conservative governor in the entire United States.”

The selection of Beckwith has drawn sharp criticism from Indiana Democrats. Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington) issued a press release condemning the GOP’s choices.

“The Indiana GOP has just nominated its most far-right, hyper-conservative ticket in modern history,” Yoder stated. “Between Braun, Rokita, and Beckwith, there are enough controversies for about 30 election cycles. This will be a disastrous ticket for the vast majority of Hoosiers who believe strongly in autonomy, self-determination, and free speech—all values which the nominees claim to champion but work daily to undermine.”

Jennifer McCormick, who is running against Mike Braun, also issued a statement highlighting her concerns about Beckwith’s nomination.

“Beckwith is, by far, the most extreme candidate ever nominated by either party for statewide office,” McCormick said. “I refuse to turn Indiana over to a Braun-Beckwith team. They are dangerous, divisive, and extreme—and embody the fear and chaos that has taken our state on a dangerous path.”

McCormick criticized Beckwith for his statements about the January 6 insurrectionists and his support for banning books, opposing reproductive freedoms, and demonstrating intolerance of differences.

“This November, Hoosiers must choose opportunity and optimism by voting for Jennifer McCormick,” she urged.

The upcoming election in Indiana is expected to be highly contentious as voters decide between two starkly different visions for the state’s future.

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