GOP Senator Mike Braun filed paperwork with the Indiana Election Division to run for governor of Indiana.
The primary to replace Braun in the Senate is expected to be crowded.
NEW: Mike Braun makes it official. He files paperwork to run for governor. pic.twitter.com/V00htYdHo3
— Angela Ganote (@angelaganote) November 30, 2022
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Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) has filed paperwork to run for governor in 2024, leaving open a Senate seat that could attract a packed field of GOP candidates in Indiana during the next election cycle.
An empty Senate seat is likely to attract a crowded GOP primary, with some lawmakers already voicing interest. Braun’s gubernatorial bid could also mean a competitive primary in the race for governor, as former Mike Pence gubernatorial appointee Eric Doden has already been running his campaign for months and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (R-IN) is also expected to throw her hat in the ring.
Braun was first elected to the Senate in 2018 after emerging from a competitive primary field and going on to unseat Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN). The first-term senator has long complained about the speed at which the Senate moves, hinting at a gubernatorial run earlier this year.
Braun won the Indiana Senate race in 2018 after a competitive primary.
Trump won Indiana 57.02% to 40.96% in 2020.
Braun defeated former Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), a key pick-up in the 2018 elections that allowed Republicans some breathing room in the chamber during the last two years of Donald Trump’s presidency. In winning the GOP nomination, the Indiana businessman dispatched former Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, memorably portraying each as cardboard cutouts in a TV ad.
As a longtime executive — he was the founder and CEO of a distributing company — Republicans believe Braun’s long been planning a potential run for the state’s executive office. As a GOP senator, Braun’s assembled a reliably conservative voting record and talked about his party’s need to make plans to confront issues like health care and energy.
“In 2018, Mike Braun won a very competitive primary, he’s been a rock-ribbed conservative, and as a former CEO, serving as the next governor of Indiana fits him better than sitting in Washington,” said one Republican who knows Braun, speaking on condition of anonymity.
One person who has shown interest in running for the senate seat: GOP Rep Jim Banks.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is considering a run for U.S. Senate after failing to secure a House Republican leadership position, Axios has learned.
Driving the news: Banks’ spokesperson Buckley Carlson told Axios in a statement. “He will strongly consider it if Sen. [Mike] Braun runs for governor in 2024.”
The GOP needs a strong conservative candidate to replace Braun!