Indiana Sen. Mike Braun (R) will run for governor in 2024, according to papers he filed Wednesday with the Secretary of State’s office.
Braun, 68, will forgo a run for re-election to return home. He will become an early front-runner in the race to replace Gov. Eric Holcomb (R), who faces term limits.
The bare-bones paperwork, establishing a campaign account and naming a treasurer, did not offer any details beyond the fact of his candidacy. Braun’s campaign website still features video and messaging from his 2018 campaign for U.S. Senate, in which he defeated Sen. Joe Donnelly (D).
Braun chief of staff Josh Kelley told the Indianapolis Star that the senator would be making an official announcement soon.
The winner of the Republican primary in 2024 will be favored to hold the seat in a state that has moved firmly into the red column. No Democrat has won the governorship since the late Frank O’Bannon (D) won re-election in 2000.
Braun may not get the field to himself. Businessman Eric Doden (R) has already entered the race, and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (R), former Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R) and Attorney General Todd Rokita — who lost to Braun in the 2018 Senate primary — are all said to be considering a run as well.
Jennifer McCormick (D), a former Republican who served as Superintendent of Public Instruction, has hinted she will run as well.
At least some of those candidates may now also consider running for Braun’s open Senate seat. Others said to be interested in moving to the upper chamber include Reps. Victoria Spartz (R) and Jim Banks (R).
Indiana has voted reliably Republican in presidential election years. Only one Democrat, Barack Obama in 2008, has carried the state in the last half century.