Indy Politics reported Thursday that Braun is telling Republicans in the state of his intention to run for governor and that he will announce after the midterm elections, a move typical of lawmakers considering new offices. Braun’s office declined to comment further.
Braun beat former Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), a key upswing in the 2018 election that gave Republicans some breathing space in the chamber in the final two years of Donald Trump’s presidency. In winning the GOP nomination, the Indiana businessman dispatched former Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer, each memorably portraying as cardboard cutouts in a TV ad.
As a longtime executive — he was the founder and CEO of a distribution company — Republicans believe Braun has long planned a potential run for state executive office. As a GOP senator, Braun has amassed a reliable conservative voting record and spoken about the need for his party to make plans to deal with issues such as health care and energy.
“In 2018, Mike Braun won a very competitive primary, he was a rock-solid conservative, and as a former CEO, serving as Indiana’s next governor suits him better than sitting in Washington,” said a Republican who knows Braun. on condition of anonymity.
If Braun makes the jump, it would almost certainly invite a crowded GOP primary for his 2024 Senate seat. Braun’s term expires then, meaning he will have to choose between running for governor and running for re-election of his own.