Mike Braun likely to run for governor of Indiana in 2024

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Indiana Senator Mike Braun is looking to run for governor in 2024, a move that would open up a GOP seat in what has become a trusty red state, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The talkative first-term senator said on Thursday that he is not making an official statement at this time.

‘Where did you hear that? I’ll make my decision here later, probably before the end of the year. I’ve been talking about it since I got here,” Braun said in a short interview. “I will make a formal announcement sometime in late November, early December.”

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Indy Politics reported Thursday that Braun is briefing Republicans in the state of his plans to run for governor and will announce after the midterm elections, a move typical of lawmakers eyeing new offices. Braun’s office declined to comment further.

Braun defeated former Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), a key pick in the 2018 election that gave Republicans some room to breathe during the final two years of Donald Trump’s presidency. In winning the GOP nomination, the Indiana businessman sent former representatives Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, each memorable as cardboard cutouts in a TV ad.

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As a longtime executive — he was the founder and CEO of a distribution company — Republicans believe Braun has long been planning a possible run for the state’s executive office. As a GOP senator, Braun amassed a trustworthy Conservative voter register and spoke about his party’s need to make plans to address issues like health care and energy.

“In 2018, Mike Braun won a very competitive primary, he’s been a rock-solid conservative, and as a former CEO, he’s a better fit to be the next governor of Indiana than to sit in Washington,” said a Republican Braun knows, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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Should Braun take the plunge, it would almost certainly invite an overcrowded GOP scoop to his Senate seat in 2024. Braun’s term will then expire, meaning he will have to choose between the governor’s race and his own reelection campaign.

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