Conservative Leaders: Finish the Job and Nominate Julie McGuire for Lt. Governor

Posted by James Bopp, Jr. | Jun 05, 2024 | 0 Comments

by James Bopp, Jr., Jeff Cardwell, Ryan Black, and Scott Schneider

Just a few days after Senator Mike Braun's stunning primary victory for Governor, he endorsed State Representative Julie McGuire for the Republican Lt. Governor nomination. The elected Republican delegates at the June 15th Republican State Convention will make the choice and we urge the delegates to nominate Julie McGuire.

The authors of this memo have spent their lives working to advance the conservative cause and the Republican Party. Jim Bopp has been a conservative activist since 1964, a Terre Haute conservative attorney for over 50 years and has held prominent positions in the conserva- tive movement and the Republican Party, Jeff Cardwell is former Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party and a former Indianapolis City-County Councilman, Ryan Black has spent the last 20 years working with grassroots conservative across the country to elect strong leaders that will drive bold policy solutions, including with Americans for Prosperity, and Scott Schneider is a former State Senator and Indianapolis City-County Councilman. We believe that faith, family, country and freedom must guide our lives.

When Senator Braun recommended Rep. McGuire, he stressed her life experiences living “the values of faith, family, and community . . . serving her neighbors, raising a family and getting things done,” her legislative experience, and that he wanted “her on the team.”

Pastor Beckwith has also stressed his conservative views and policy proposals but has primarily justified his candidacy as providing a “check and balance on the governor.” In a recent interview on WIBC, he said, referring to the COVID lockdowns, that “(I would) stand up if the government ever goes down the path they did the last 5 years.” And for being qualified to be Lt. Governor, he emphasized his “small business experience” and “leadership ability being a pastor . . . leading people toward a vision."

There is no doubt that Indiana needs a change in direction.

We agree that Indiana needs a substantial change in direction and, to achieve that, a change in leadership. The COVID lockdowns in Indiana were both unnecessary and destructive and were much more similar to those in deep blue states like Michigan that those in red ones like Texas and Florida.

And beyond that, government spending and taxation needs dramatic reduction and state government needs to stop its policies that favor crony capitalism and big corporations. We need a Governor who will lead and reform state government.

This lack of conservative leadership has largely resulted in the precipitous fall in our Legislature's conservative rating from 73% to 61% and Indiana slipping from the 3rd most conservative state to 20th, according to the Center for Legislative Accountability.

Mike Braun is the Change in Direction and Leadership that Indiana needs.

Of course, some of the headlines that greeted Senator Braun's smashing primary victory stated the obvious “Mike Braun ushers in ‘new conservative era.'” As former State Senator Carlin Yoder, Trump's Indiana State Director, explained: “There's going to be a new era in the State of Indiana. It's going to be a conservative era of people who believe in what Donald Trump believes and the establishment should probably wake up to that fact.”

There was every indication of that during the campaign and during Senator Braun's term in DC. His campaign was endorsed by a who's who of the conservative movement, in addition to President Trump, including Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, CPAC, Indiana State Police Alliance and Indiana Right to Life. And as a U. S. Senator, Mike Braun enjoyed excellent ratings from the NRA (A+), the Family Research Council, National Right to Life, and the Susan B. Anthony List.

Overall, the American Conservative Union found that Senator Braun supported conservative positions 95% of the time, CPAC declared him the 2nd most conservative Senator with a 98% rating, and Conservative Review gave him a Liberty Score of 88%.

And the liberal Democrats get it. According to the liberal Indy Star, “Braun (is) Indiana's most successful Trumpist,” and the Democrat Party Chair declared that “Mike Braun has proven throughout this campaign that he puts MAGA ahead of all of Indiana. The selection of Julie McGuire is just the latest example.”

Where was Micah Beckwith during the fight for Indiana's future?

So the fight for Governor in our Republican primary was the fight for Indiana's future. The Governor is the leader of the State and has a major influence on the State's public policy agenda, both as the chief executive and through this legislative agenda. And Braun had amply demonstrated that his agenda would be a decisively conservative one.

But Micah Beckwith sat this fight out in order to pursue his personal agenda of being elected to a much lesser office, Lt. Governor, saying that “he would be able to work with any of the candidates. . . .(but) is running because he believes the people deserve a choice and the lieutenant governor should be more than a ‘ceremonial appointment.'”

However, the Indiana Lt. Governor is not a “ceremonial appointment,” but an important administrative position with 26 statutory duties: overseeing 5 administrative agencies, serving on 9 councils and commissions, and administering 8 programs. But we know little of Pastor Beckwith's administrative abilities since he prematurely resigned his only public position, as a member of the Hamilton East Public Library Board, in order to run for Lt. Governor, but he still found time to be involved in several advocacy groups.

Pastor Beckwith seems to want to change the role of the Lt. Governor to suit what he thinks is his skill set – not an administrator, but “an influencer.” He said that “I look at politics and everything I'm doing as a pastor, it's all about influence. How are you going to teach people and influence in the right direction?” As a result, he said: “Sometimes I think my spiritual gift is pissing off liberals.”

Mike Braun needs a partner, not a watch dog.

But does Indiana need a Lt. Governor who is an “influencer” to keep Governor Braun “in check?” In our opinion, no. Indiana needs what Republicans voted for in the primary: a new Governor who will aggressively lead the state in a conservative direction. This Governor does not need someone in his administration to hold him in account based on that person's personal views, but someone who will fight with him to achieve his conservative agenda. And “pissing off liberals” is sometimes fun, but is not getting anything done.

However, Pastor Beckwith looks to the last 5 years as his justification for office, primarily based on the COVID lockdowns. If Governor Holcomb had been nominated again for Governor, he may have a point. But Mike Braun will be our next Governor and he too opposed the COVID lockdowns and actually used his official position to do something about it. First, as early as April 13, 2020, Senator Braun called for “a near-term plan to lift the corona virus lockdowns and establish a realistic target date for a ‘smart re-opening' of the US. economy.” He was outspokenly critical of Indiana's lockdowns policy, stating that: ”even some states that are supposed to be Conservative, red in nature, looked very blue to me.” And then as Senator, he lead the effort in Congress to overturn President Biden's COVID vaccination mandates and has pledged, as Governor, that there “would absolutely be none of them . . . (no) mandates coming from state government.”

Mike Braun's track record in public office demonstrates he is a man of his word.

Julie McGuire is the partner Governor Braun needs.

Julie McGuire is cut from the same cloth as Mike Braun. Her life demonstrates her commitment to “faith, family and community,” with some relevant public service experience.

First is her strong religious faith, reflected in her service to her church, including 15 years as Parish Business Manager at St. Roch Catholic Church. Second, in her run for state representative, she was endorsed by Indiana Right to Life, the NRA, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Indiana State Police Alliance. And finally, as a legislative aid and as a State Representative, she has earned the respect for her conservative beliefs and intellect from everyone she has worked with. And her legislative experience will help Governor Braun achieve his legislative agenda.

And one more note about her first campaign for State Representative, which we believe is being misrepresented. The incumbent, John Jacobs, who Julie challenged in 2022, was elected first in 2020. However, it came to light, through an investigation by the highly respected Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, that Jacobs had posted numerous anti-Catholic posts claiming that the Roman Catholic Church is a “cult” and “of Satan.” This led to calls for his resignation. However, he did not resign but was defeated in the primary by a 2 to 1 vote. In our opinion, the defeat of Jacobs was a victory for the conservative cause and a credit to Julie McGuire.

To Pastor Beckwith's credit, he has called Julie McGuire “a solid choice.” But we believe she is much more suited to the needs of our next Governor.

Of course, the delegates will and should decide who is our nominee for Lt. Governor.

And running to give the delegates “a choice,” as Pastor Beckwith says he is doing, does not mean that he is the best choice. Mike Braun has never suggested that Pastor Beckwith should not run but, instead, said that “I don't mind competition at all,” and, if Pastor Beckwith wins, “he will of course accept it.” However, it is not just Pastor Beckwith's victory that would vindicate the delegate's right to choose, as he seems to think, but the choice of anyone they choose.

Let's finish the job.

As many of you know and have been a part of, the Indiana Republican Party is going through a conservative renaissance. In January 2017, two of our eight statewide officeholders were conservatives. In January 2019, with the election of Senator Mike Braun, we had three, and then, at the 2022 Republican State Convention, “the delegates split from the so-called establish- ment wing of the Indiana Republican party to boost their preferred candidates” to five conserva- tives statewide. And with Mike Braun's nomination, and Jim Banks' Senate nomination to replace him, we are at 6 of 8.

So now lets finish the job by making it 7.

Pastor Beckwith is an articulate conservative but with no track record to verify it or to demonstrate any administrative ability. Julie McGuire is an articulate conservative with a proven track record in public service and a business manager for her church. And Julie McGuire is recommended by Mike Braun as a member of his team, while Pastor Beckwith insists that he will not be a part of it.

So what do the most recent additions to our statewide conservative renaissance have to say about this choice.

Secretary of State Diego Morales:

“I have had the opportunity to get to know Julie and her family for many years. Julie is a strong conservative and is willing to fight for our values. . . . Julie, along with Senator Mike Braun, will be important partners for the Secretary of State's Office.”

State Treasurer Daniel Elliott:

“When you combine (Julie McGuire's) background with Mike Braun's experi- ence in fighting for Hoosiers in Washington DC, and as an entrepreneur, Indiana will have one of the most conservative teams we've ever had leading our state.”

State Comptroller Elise Nieshalla:

“Julie has been a champion for our conservative principles and values with a voting record to prove it. She is skillful in navigating the legislative process and would serve as a highly effective partner to help future Governor Braun deliver on their agenda that will have Hoosiers saying, ‘Make America Like Indiana!'”

We could not have said it any better ourselves.

James Bopp, Jr.

James Bopp, Jr. is an attorney with The Bopp Law Firm PC,, in Terre Haute, IN. His law practice concentrates on not-for-profit corporate and tax law, on campaign finance and election law, on the biomedical issues of abortion, foregoing and withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment and assisted suicide, on federal and state trial and appellate litigation, and on United States Supreme Court practice. He represents numerous conservative not-for-profit organizations, political action committees, Republican candidates, and Republican Party organizations, including serving as General Counsel for the National Right to Life Committee and as former Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee. His extensive First Amendment campaign finance litigation practice includes winning 9 of his 14 cases decided on the merits by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jeff Cardwell

Jeff Cardwell is a former Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party and a former Indianapolis City-County Councilman. He is owner of Cardwell Do-it Best Home Center in Indianapolis. His extensive charitable activities include People Helping People Network, the Fuller Center for Housing, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Drill Team and the Grace Assembly of God in Greenwood. Jeff served as Executive Director of the Office of Faith- based and Community Initiatives and as Senior Advisor during the administration of Governor Pence. He also serves as Honorary Consul to the Republic of El Salvador. He resides in Greenwood with his wife, Cheryl.

Ryan Black

For two decades, Ryan Black has worked across the country to elect strong leaders and drive principled policy solutions on the issues Americans care about most. Ryan began his career working on House races with the Indiana House Republican Campaign Committee, and most recently served as Regional Vice President at Americans for Prosperity. At AFP, Ryan led nine state-chapters and also stewarded AFP's state-level healthcare strategy. Currently, Ryan works for the Stand Together philanthropic community where he leads education strategy and investments nationally. A lifelong Hoosier, Ryan and his family live in Monroe County.

Scott Schneider

Scott Schneider is a former Indianapolis City-County Councilman and a former Indiana State Senator serving northern Indianapolis and Hamilton County from 2009 to 2016. He authored or co-authored bills to fully defund Planned Parenthood, to end the federal takeover of education by abolishing Common Core in Indiana, to preserve religious freedom through the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, to eliminate the inheritance tax, and to enact Right to Work in Indiana. He is a business owner and serves on several local boards in central Indiana. Scott remains actively recruiting good candidates to run and serve at all levels of government.

Paid for by The Bopp Law Firm, PC 

Authorized by Mike Braun for Indiana, Inc.

About the Author

James Bopp, Jr.

Practice Areas: First Amendment Law, Campaign-Finance Law, Constitutional Law, Election Law, Civil Litigation, Appellate Practice, and United States Supreme Court Practice.


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