Eric Holcomb projected to win Indiana governor’s race

Eric Holcomb speaks following his projected win in the governor's race on Nov. 8, 2016. (WISH photo)
Eric Holcomb speaks following his projected win in the governor's race on Nov. 8, 2016. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) —   Republican Eric Holcomb is the projected winner in the Indiana governor’s race, according to the Associated Press

The battle between Holcomb and Democrat John Gregg was tight until the end. Holcomb replaced Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence as the GOP nominee only three months ago.

Holcomb was little known around the state when he became the Republican candidate in July, about five months after Pence appointed the former state GOP chairman as lieutenant governor.

Gregg’s campaign aimed to link Holcomb to controversies during Pence’s term such as Indiana’s 2015 religious-objections law that sparked a national uproar from gay-rights supporters.

Holcomb touted the state’s improved fiscal condition under Republican governors the past 12 years. Holcomb largely avoided mentioning Pence’s name, instead citing his time as a top aide to Pence’s popular predecessor, Mitch Daniels.

Holcomb ended with 52 percent of the vote, while Gregg captured 45 percent with Libertarian Rex Bell finishing with 3 percent.