GOP Sen. Mike Braun launches bid for Indiana governor

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.)
Greg Nash
Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) addresses reporters during a press conference on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 to discuss the National Defense Authorization Act and calling on a short term continuing resolution to fund the government until the House is under Republican control.

Sen. Mike Braun (Ind.) announced a bid for Indiana governor on Monday, throwing his name into what is expected to be a crowded Republican field vying to succeed Gov. Eric Holcomb (R). 

Braun’s announcement didn’t come out of the blue. He has reportedly been weighing a gubernatorial run since at least September, and he filed paperwork for a campaign late last month. 

The first-term Indiana senator made his decision official during a luncheon at an Indianapolis steakhouse on Monday. 

Braun’s announcement came just hours after another Indiana Republican, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, jumped into the gubernatorial race. Eric Doden, a former appointee of former Gov. Mike Pence, has been in the contest since May. 

Braun, a wealthy businessman, first won his Senate seat in 2018, funding his campaign to oust then-Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) with more than $11 million in personal loans.

The eventual winner of the Republican primary will enter the general election as the favorite to succeed Holcomb, who cannot seek reelection because of term limits. The GOP has controlled the Indiana governor’s mansion for two decades.

While Holcomb easily won reelection in 2020, he drew the ire of many conservatives thanks to his COVID-19 policies. He also irked many in his party — including Braun — earlier this year when he vetoed a bill banning transgender girls from competing on sports teams designated for girls.

Braun’s announcement is likely to open up a competitive Republican primary for his Senate seat. Among those eyeing a run for Braun’s seat is Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.). Banks’s office told The Hill late last month that the Indiana congressman is “very seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate.”

Tags Eric Holcomb Indiana governor's race Jim Banks Joe Donnelly Mike Braun Mike Braun Mike Pence

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