Q&A: Micah Beckwith on his unorthodox run for lieutenant governor

Micah Beckwith speaks with Hoosiers at the Jasper County Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner. (Credit Beckwith campaign)

Micah Beckwith speaks with Hoosiers at the Jasper County Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner. (Credit Beckwith campaign)

Key Points
  • Beckwith says he’d be “independent set of eyes” in Braun-led administration
  • Beckwith brushes off conservative state figures’ endorsements for McGuire

Micah Beckwith, the pastor of Life Church’s Noblesville campus, is appealing to conservative delegates to Saturday’sRepublican state convention in his bid for the party’s lieutenant governor nomination.

State Affairs spoke with Beckwith about his challenge to Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Braun’s pick for a running mate in the November election, state Rep. Julie McGuire.

This conversation has been edited for clarity, brevity and length.

Q. What are you talking about with delegates ahead of the convention?

A. I very much support a good working relationship between the governor and lieutenant governor, but the lieutenant governor is not the secretary of the governor. I think that message is resonating with Hoosiers all over the state because I think we’ve really seen a Republican government — I mean we’ve been a supermajority now for 12, 15 years, give or take, and we really haven’t seen all of the wins that we could have seen if we just would have had a little bit sharper adherence to the principles of the Republican Party. So people are saying, ‘Well, it might not be bad to have another somewhat independent set of eyes in the executive branch.’ So that message is resonating.

Q. Where do you think you’re standing now with delegates?

A. It is different from other convention races because normally the delegates are never given a choice. What’s hard to judge is that, I think, there’s some people out there that really do want to vote for me and are gonna vote for convention, but I think they’re a little hesitant to say one way or the other because they don’t know what the blowback from the party is going to be. … The establishment does not like what I’m doing, and they are making it clear to anybody who stands with me that there will be consequences and repercussions if you don’t side with the establishment. And so, I think, there’s a big frustration in Indiana with that mindset that the establishment rules everything with an iron fist and people are seeing what’s happening to Donald Trump and they don’t like it. … I think we’re close. It’s gonna be hard to tell going into the convention one way or the other. But I can tell you right now we are feeling very good about our count and I think we’ve got the momentum.

Q. You’ve described yourself as being a conservative insurance policy, while Braun supporters say he doesn’t need that but needs someone who’s going to be able to help him work with the Legislature and be an effective partner. What’s your response to that?

A. I look forward to being a really strong ally to Mike Braun. I’ll take arrows with him if he’s taking arrows for doing the right thing. I look forward to going into battle with him and standing up for truth. … There always needs to be an insurance policy. I don’t trust anybody blindly in government, nor should anyone trust me blindly if I go into government. We all need accountability. I mean, even Jesus had accountability. He submitted to the authority of the Father. We’re all subject to somebody. So if there’s ever somebody in the establishment or anywhere where they say, well, this person doesn’t really need to be held in check. No, I think that’s a really dangerous beginning of making very bad leaders.

Q. Have you been disappointed that Republicans such as Secretary of State Diego Morales and Treasurer Daniel Elliott [conservative favorites who defeated GOP leadership-backed candidates in the 2022 convention] and longtime conservative leader Jim Bopp have endorsed Julie McGuire over you?

A. Well, I think all these people that you’re talking about are conservative establishment. So there’s a difference between being conservative for the people and conservative for the establishment. While I like Diego and I like Daniel and I like Jim and I think they’ve all done good things for our state, they will always err on the side of supporting what the establishment says to do, but they’re going to have a conservative bent. I’m somebody that says to the people, ‘I’m gonna fight for you and not for the establishment.’ … I will be a lot more of a [state Attorney General] Todd Rokita-type person that says, ‘You know what? I’m not gonna do what the establishment is telling me to do; I’m going to do what’s best for the people and fight for the people.’ That’s why people love Donald Trump so much, because the establishment hates him so much.

Read the State Affairs Q&A with Beckwith’s challenger for lieutenant governor, state Rep. Julie McGuire, here.

Keep Reading: Republicans square off over lieutenant governor nomination

Tom Davies is a Statehouse reporter for State Affairs Pro Indiana. Reach him at [email protected] or on X at @TomDaviesIND.

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