Mike Braun files to run for Indiana governor in 2024, setting up open Senate race



CNN

Republican Sen. Mike Braun filed paperwork Wednesday to run for governor of Indiana in 2024, setting the race for the seat open.

“Mike Braun has filed his paperwork to run for governor and will soon make an official announcement about his candidacy,” Braun’s chief of staff, Josh Kelley, said in a statement.

GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb is term-limited and cannot run for re-election in 2024.

Braun, who previously served in the Indiana House, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 after winning a crowded Republican primary that included former U.S. Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer. He then unseated Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly in the general election.

Braun has become dissatisfied with how the Senate functions; He was among the few GOP senators to support National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott’s failed bid to unseat GOP Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this month.

Braun is not the first Republican to file for Indiana governor. Eric Doden, the former president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation under then-Gov. Mike Pence, is already in the running. Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch is also considered a potential candidate.

Politico first reported on Braun’s decision to file for a gubernatorial campaign.

Braun’s decision will leave an open Senate seat in the reliably red state. Indiana GOP Reps. Trey Hollingsworth, Victoria Spartz and Jim Banks are considered potential candidates to succeed him.

“Congressman Banks is seriously considering a run for the United States Senate and is strongly positioned to win a statewide primary and general election in Indiana,” a Banks spokesman said. “He will spend the holidays discussing with his wife, family and friends around the state how he can best serve Indiana.”

Banks, the chairman of the conservative Republican Caucus, recently lost a bid for a top House GOP leadership post.

Hollingsworth appears to be open to a bid for the Senate or governor, telling CNN Wednesday that there were “multiple” positions that appeal to him.

“There are several places where I might be able to serve Hoosiers,” said Hollingsworth, who leaves the House next month after three terms. “The question is, ‘Where can I best serve them?’ And ‘Am I the right person to serve them?’”

“I want to find new ways to solve problems that I hear about every day from Hoosiers,” he added. “I think there are more roles out there, available and open, where I can do that.”

This story has been updated with further developments.

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