IndyStar: Trump and Pence camps at odds over best choice for U.S.Senate: Messer or Rokita?
By Kaitlin Lange | July 27, 2017
Associates of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence appear to be at odds over the best candidate to run for a hotly-contested U.S. Senate seat in Indiana.
For months, multiple people close to Pence, along with his brother Greg Pence, have thrown their support to Rep. Luke Messer as the Republican choice to run against Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly in the 2018 election.
On Thursday, Rex Early, the Trump Indiana State Chairman, and Tony Samuel, the vice chairman, joined the fight, sending a letter suggesting support for Rep. Todd Rokita.
“Of the members of Indiana’s congressional delegation, Todd Rokita is the only one that actively and specifically campaigned for candidate Trump – never wavering and never jumping on and off the Trump Train,” the two said in the letter.
Rokita has yet to officially announce he is running for the hotly-contested Senate seat in the upcoming 2018 primary. But already he and Messer have thrown jabs at each other via emails to their supporters, and have accused each other of either lying or not presenting accurate facts.
“I can say I know and like both Rex and Tony. While, I respect them, there are some inconsistencies in this statement. In fact, Congressman Rokita endorsed Senator Rubio (for president),” said Greg Pence, who is also the chair of Messer’s finance committee.
Messer’s campaign also pointed out Rokita’s recent opposition to Trump’s Federal Aviation Administration reforms.
Greg Pence previously emphasized that his support of Rep. Messer did not indicate support from his brother, the vice president.