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U.S. Sen. Mike Braun files paperwork to run for governor

Indiana Republican U.S. Senator Mike Braun speaks at a lectern in front of a blue curtain. Braun is a White man, balding with dark gray and white hair. He is wearing glasses, a blue shirt and a dark gray suit.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) speaks with reporters during a visit to the Indiana Statehouse on Jan. 18, 2022.

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) filed paperwork with the state Tuesday to run for governor in 2024.

Braun is in the middle of his first term in the U.S. Senate. Prior to that, the Jasper Republican was a state legislator for three years and served a decade on a local school board.

A Braun run for governor had been rumored for months. The seat will be open in 2024, with current Gov. Eric Holcomb term-limited.

Andrew Downs, Mike Downs Center For Indiana Politics director emeritus, said Braun leaving a safe U.S. Senate seat does seem like an odd move. But he said, given Braun’s profile, it’s also a logical step.

“He came out of the business world, where he got to be the boss and the CEO," Downs said. "And when you’re a senator, you’re one of 100 and you are not the boss. So, this is a chance for him to move back to the top of the hierarchy.”

In a statement, Braun chief of staff Josh Kelley said Braun will make an official announcement about his candidacy very soon.

The race is expected to attract several hopefuls, particularly in the GOP primary. Fort Wayne businessman Eric Doden is the only announced candidate currently in the campaign.

READ MORE: Fort Wayne Republican Announces Bid For 2024 Governor's Race

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Braun's Senate seat is also up for election in 2024 – meaning the current incumbent's gubernatorial run would open up that office.

That could have a domino effect throughout Indiana politics. U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) and U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) are among the names rumored for a Senate bid, should Braun make his move for governor.

"That has created a whole lot of potential for movement," Downs said. "There's the opportunity for U.S. House seats to open up, which could result in county commissioner seats opening up or state legislative seats opening up. Absolutely, a cascade of events could happen here."

The filing deadline for Indiana's 2024 primary elections is February 2024.

This story has been updated.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.