Greg Pence wins GOP nomination for House seat once held by brother Mike Pence

The older brother of Vice President Mike Pence won the Republican nomination Tuesday for the Indiana U.S. House seat that his sibling held for a dozen years.

Greg Pence easily defeated Muncie entrepreneur Jonathan Lamb and three other opponents in the 6th District GOP primary. Pence, a Columbus businessman who has never held public office, held a major money advantage over Lamb — raising $1.2 million and spending nearly $1 million as of mid-April.

Lamb, 36, criticized his opponent for relying on the Pence name and dodging debates. He said he has a hard time telling where Pence stands on issues, although both profess support for most of President Donald Trump’s agenda.

In contrast to Pence’s fundraising success, Lamb loaned his own campaign around $800,000 in an effort to keep pace, making the 6th District race the most expensive in the state.

Meanwhile, Pence has said his family name is a “good name” and that he prefers meeting voters instead of debating.

Pence, 61, is a Marine veteran and owner of two antique malls. He once ran a now-bankrupt chain of Tobacco Road convenience stores. He has said he would focus on issues such as infrastructure, veterans’ affairs, fixing the immigration system and health care.

Pence will face the top vote-getter among six Democrats: George Holland, K. Lave, Jeannine Lee Lake, Jim Pruett, Lane Siekman or Joshua Williamson.

Mike Pence was first elected to represent the 6th District in 2000. He served in the House of Representatives for 12 years before he was elected governor in 2012. The seat is open in this cycle because Rep. Luke Messer is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.