Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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Indiana gubernatorial candidates typically have about six months between the primary and general elections to introduce and define themselves to the electorate. And they’re already spending millions to do so.

But 2016 isn’t a typical election cycle.

There are 188 days between Indiana’s May primary and the general election.

Incumbent Republican Mike Pence was elevated to the national ticket, catapulting Eric Holcomb to the head of gubernatorial ticket with just more than 100 days to go. He says it’s been a whirlwind since.

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Democrat Baron Hill is dropping out of the race for Indiana’s open U-S Senate seat. In a statement, Hill says his campaign has made progress in the race against Republican Representative Todd Young. But the Democrat says that progress isn’t enough against what he calls the oncoming slew of “special interest” money. Hill says Democrats can win the Senate race if they have a candidate with money and name recognition.

Brandon Smith

In contrast to the Indiana Republican convention, there was no suspense or drama as Hoosier Democrats officially chose their nominees for statewide offices.

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Indiana came closer than it’s ever come during the last session to joining the ranks of states with bias crime, or hate crime, laws.

The Associated Press recently found that 52 percent of Indiana police agencies didn’t file voluntary hate crime reports with the FBI between 2009 and 2014; that’s three times the national average of 17 percent.

President Obama returned to Elkhart Wednesday seeking to bring a major part of his presidency full circle, trumpeting what he sees as the city's and the nation’s economic resurgence. 

But as Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, the president’s speech actually was more about looking forward than looking back

 

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Thousands of people Wednesday gathered at the State Fairgrounds to cheer Donald Trump, the first of the three remaining Republican presidential candidates to visit Indiana. He focused his speech primarily on trade and the economy.

Brandon Smith/IPBS

Registration fees at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will decrease for more than two million Hoosiers next year.

Brandon Smith

Governor Mike Pence Wednesday signed two bills into law that give state and local governments an influx of about a billion dollars in road funding over the next two years after.

OZinOH (Flickr)

Senate Republicans will push this session to make it easier for prosecutors to try to convict people as drug dealers.  Senate GOP leadership Tuesday announced this measure is one of their priorities for the upcoming session:

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State and local road funding, harsher penalties for drug dealers, and holding schools harmless for a drop in ISTEP scores – that’s some of the initiatives Governor Mike Pence says will be part of his legislative agenda for the upcoming session.

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