Law Enforcement Groups Endorses Donnelly For Re-Election
By Dionte Coleman
INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana’s largest law enforcement group endorsed Sen. Joe Donnelly for re-election on Monday.
The Indiana State Federal Order of Police, which has about 14,000 members, announced its support of the incumbent Democrat at a press event following a unanimous decision by its executive committee.
“(Donnelly) has proven himself since 2013 to be a supporter of law enforcement and their families. He has proven himself to be a supporter of all the citizens in the state of Indiana,” said Bill Owensby, FOP president.
Donnelly is in the middle of a tight re-election fight as he is challenged by Republican Mike Braun and Libertarian Lucy Brenton. A recent poll showed Donnelly with a slight lead over Braun with Brenton’s support having the biggest impact on the Democrat.
Donnelly supported law enforcement during his six years in the U.S. Senate in last by making bulletproof vests available to police and helping the families of fallen officers, the FOP noted. Donnelly, along with Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, introduced the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act, which was signed into law by President Trump earlier this year. The goal of the law is to provide officers with tools to take care of their mental health.
Donnelly said that he believes that people should be able to sit on their front porches at night and not be worried about being in danger, or in the case of an officer’s family, not worry about their loved one being in danger.
Donnelly had an understanding about the dangers that an officer’s family face because his uncle, who lived fewer than two miles away, was a police officer. He said he recalled the stress that was constantly on the faces of his mother and aunt whenever his uncle was out on duty.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the endorsement in the Senate race. Law enforcement has been a part of my family for an incredibly long time and was part of every day,” Donnelly said.
Donnelly noted that police officers are out on the street even when it is incredibly dangerous. The incumbent senator pledged to have the backs of law enforcement in the Senate.
“This endorsement is for who they (FOP) want as the next senator, and I am honored to have that,” Donnelly said. “But why it should matter is that the endorsement came not from anything that I did as a politician, but because of what I did as a person to work together to make life better in our state and to make life better for the officers that serve us.”
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, which has traditionally endorsed Republicans, has declined to back either Donnelly or Braun in the Senate race.
Meanwhile, the campaign, one of the most competitive in the nation, continues to heat up as Braun unveils a new television ad attacking Donnelly as someone whose family business outsourced jobs to Mexico and for casting votes in Congress with former President Barack Obama.
Donnelly’s campaign has been hammering Braun with ads citing news reports of how the challenger gets many of his business’ products from China and his treatment of his workers, including failure to pay overtime for their work.
FOOTNOTE: Dionte Coleman is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College