Former Sen. Tom Coburn endorsed Republican candidate Mike Braun on Monday in the Indiana Senate race.
“Like myself, Mike is a social & fiscal conservative who supports term limits,” Mr. Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, said in a statement. “As a successful businessman, Mike brings the very knowledge and background that is badly needed in our U.S. Senate today.”
Mr. Coburn was known in the Senate as a budget hawk and published a yearly “Wastebook” to show some of the more ridiculous examples of government spending. He also made term limits his major policy initiative both while he served in office and after he retired in 2016. He proposed an amendment that would only allow House members to serve three terms and senators to serve two terms, but the measure was never voted on.
Mr. Braun said he was happy to have the support of a like-minded, fiscal conservative.
“Senator Coburn stood for everything that I will in Washington — the Constitution, cutting spending and the debt, and getting Washington out of our lives,” Mr. Braun said in a statement.
Indiana is considered among the more competitive Senate races this year with Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, trying to keep his seat in the red state.
In addition to Mr. Braun, Republicans have Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita competing for the nomination. The primary is set for May 8.
Mr. Messer’s campaign responded to the endorsement, quickly saying Mr. Braun “bamboozled” Mr. Coburn into making an endorsement.
“Does Senator Coburn know State Rep. Mike Braun’s voting record of big spending and 47 tax increases?” Chasen Bullock, Luke Messer’s campaign manager, said in an email blast.
The email also contained facts on Mr. Braun’s voting record in the state legislature, saying that he voted for “over 47 different tax hikes.”