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EDlection 2018: Indiana Hands Republican Challenger Braun Senate Victory Over Incumbent Donnelly, Implications for Undocumented Students

Mike Braun (Getty Images)

EDlection2018: This is one of several dozen races we’ve analyzed for the 2018 midterms that could go on to influence state or federal education policy. Get the latest headlines delivered straight to your inbox; sign up for The 74 Newsletter.

Ending a heated Senate campaign in Indiana, former state Rep. Mike Braun, a Republican, has defeated Sen. Joe Donnelly, the Democratic incumbent, Politico reports.

Braun led Donnelly 54 percent to 42 percent with 59 percent of precincts reporting.

Throughout the campaign, Braun didn’t shy away from aligning himself with President Donald Trump. Indiana went blue for Barack Obama in 2008 and red for Trump in 2016. Flipping the seat Republican is a coup as the GOP looks to cement its hold on the Senate.

Although Braun defeated two Republican education reform activists in the primary, schools didn’t become a major issue during the campaign. That doesn’t mean, however, Braun’s win won’t have big implications for students. As was the case in races across the country, immigration became a flashpoint in the Indiana Senate campaign with implications for undocumented students.

Braun backed the Trump administration as it moved this year to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides work permits and deportation relief to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Braun has said he opposes “special treatment” for DACA recipients — with a big exception. If lawmakers approve funding for Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, he said he would be willing to negotiate on DACA.

With the victory, Braun defeated a moderate Democrat who voted with Trump more times than not. Donnelly voted against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

EDlection2018: This is one of several dozen races we’ve analyzed for the 2018 midterms that could go on to influence state or federal education policy. Get the latest headlines delivered straight to your inbox; sign up for The 74 Newsletter.

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