Indiana Capital Chronicle: Latest Chambers “Outsider” ad ties candidate to Reagan, Daniels

By Whitney Downard
Indiana Capital Chronicle

A new advertisement from the Brad Chambers campaign for governor seeks to tie the candidate to “outsider” politicos, including former President Ronald Reagan and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

It’s the latest in a flurry of ads being released in the six-way Republican primary.

“To tackle Indiana’s challenges and build a brighter future will take someone from outside the political system,” Chambers said in an accompanying release. “It’s been 20 years since Indiana first sent businessman and outsider Mitch Daniels to the governor’s office. Mitch came in with fresh eyes and transformed government, making it work better for all Hoosiers. That’s the type of bold leadership Indiana needs once again, and that’s why I’m running for governor.”

Chambers, whose campaign RV includes the phrase #Outsider, is competing with five other candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. They include U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Fort Wayne businessman Eric Doden, former Attorney General Curtis Hill and faith-based Jamie Reitenour.

The former Secretary of Commerce repeatedly denigrates “career politicians,” specifically Braun, during public forums and debates. Braun has held other elected offices, including a school board position and Indiana House representative. Likewise Crouch has had a lengthy political career in the Indiana House, as State Auditor and in local government offices.

Notably, the ad doesn’t mention former President Donald Trump, who is running against President Joe Biden this year. Trump has endorsed and received the endorsement of Braun. With the exception of Chambers, who hasn’t indicated a preference, Indiana’s gubernatorial candidates have lined up behind Trump.

Candidates are ramping up efforts to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Last week, Doden spotlighted immigration with a promise to support border protections, prosecute drug dealers and target drug trafficking across the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The D.C. politicians have failed again. When politicians are in gridlock when it comes to border protection, Doden pledges to give border states the tools they need to keep illegal immigrants out of the United States. No longer will drugs and violence cross our borders because of the failure of Washington. Eric Doden will lead where D.C. has failed,” said an accompanying release.

Previously, Doden and Braun locked horns in a series of attack ads on qualified immunity and Doden’s tenure as Secretary of Commerce under former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Crouch also launched a new broadcast television advertisement last week in which she addresses the mental health crisis in Indiana, pledging resources for people battling depression and to combat teen suicide. During the commercial she discusses her sister’s suicide.

“As governor, I will do all I can to prevent families from experiencing the pain and helplessness of suicide,” she says.  “We will ensure Hoosiers have access to affordable mental health care.”

Neither Doden nor Crouch released a plan or formal proposals behind their ads.