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Senate race updates 9/7

SOUTH BEND, Ind.— Democratic Incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly is pledging to suspend his campaign for one day in remembrance of the September 11th attacks. 

He sent a letter to his Republican challenger Mike Braun, calling on both campaigns to take a day off for community service.

Donnelly is hoping both candidates could give back to the Central Indiana Police Foundation.

“We have the perfect opportunity where we have something called a trauma kit and so, his team will be coming and working to put those trauma kits together and then we’re going to train them a little bit about that and how our first responders will be using that specifically our police officers locally,” said Lisa Rollings, the executive director for Central Indiana Police Foundation.

ABC 57 News reached out to Braun’s camp to see if he agreed to Donnelly’s request.

“We are still waiting on Senator Donnelly to respond to Mike Braun's challenge to join him in supporting President Trump's highly qualified Supreme Court nominee and still waiting to hear back on if he wants to impeach President Trump,” said Braun spokesman Josh Kelley in a statement to ABC 57 News. “Once we hear back from Senator Donnelly we will respond directly to his political campaign, instead of through the press, because Mike will never use September 11 for public relations matters."

Donnelly says he plans to keep his promise.

“Joe is halting all campaign efforts this coming Tuesday, which is the 17th anniversary of 9/11, out of respect for the tragic events that our nation endured on that day,” said Peter Hanscom, campaign manager for Joe for Indiana. “Our campaign’s invitation is still open for rep. Mike Braun to join Joe in taking down all campaign ads and participate in a service project rather than campaigning.” 

Braun’s camp did not say what he was planning on doing instead for 9/11 but he was announced as the special guest of a GOP fundraiser happening in Texas on that day.

As Election Day inches closer, recent polls are showing new standings in this race.

According to a NBC/Marist poll, Donnelly currently has a slight edge over Braun.

According to the poll, in a head-to-head contest with Braun and Donnelly, the latter is expected to pick up 49 percent of likely voters compared to 43 percent for Braun.

When Libertarian candidate Lucy Brenton was added to the mix, 44 percent of likely voters went for Donnelly, compared to 41 for Braun.

What’s notable about that poll is Brenton is polling an 8 percent, fairly high for a third-party candidate.

Brenton picked up nearly 150,000 votes in the 2016 Senate Election.

In this close race, those votes could effectively sway the results.

“What this means is the tide is turning,” said Brenton. “People are willing to vote for liberty, they’re willing to vote for their own freedom and that hasn’t happened in this country in a long time. It’s way past time for us to say, ‘America, I demand all of my freedoms, all the time’”

All three candidates are set to face off in the first debate on October 8 in Westville.

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