The Associated Press officially is saying that Susan Brooks is the winner of the contested 5th Congressional District race for the GOP nomination.
Susan Brooks started out in the race, according to early polling by former Congressman David McIntosh, in the single digits with little name ID outside of Hamilton and Marion counties.
And that was in February 2012, not all that long ago.
She took those numbers and hit the pavement hard. She racked up a number of high profile endorsements, including Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and former state GOP Chairman Murray Clark. And several low profile endorsements as well from county and city elected officials across Marion and Hamilton counties and elsewhere. She also had the big endorsement of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a rising star in the Republican Party.
In the last two weeks, she focused on her base and, just like Dan Burton did in the last two primaries, focused on driving them out.
And it paid off. She etched out John McGoff in Marion County, and her strength here and elsewhere etched out a victory from McIntosh.
She was incredibly accessible to media, both traditional and new. She attended every major candidate forum I can remember. I often heard that she sounded more sincere compared tom some of the other candidates. I saw an astounding number of Brooks supporters at the polls today, and they weren't all former or current elected Republican officials.
She also managed to win a Republican primary without an endorsement from Indiana Right to Life or the NRA. And she even had some shadowy group called "Campaign for Primary Accountability" running ads against her. These types of bridges will inevitably be built since she is the nominee, and will soon be racking up a voting record that will likely net her those endorsements in the future and stop those types of dreary ads.
The question now for Mrs. Brooks is what does she do now?
She certainly has a lot of time to think about it.
Congratulations to Mrs. Brooks and to her campaign.