INDIANAPOLIS — Republican U.S. Senator Mike Braun formally announced he's running for governor. He made the announcement at Prime 47 in Indianapolis Monday.
He filed paperwork to run for Indiana governor in 2024 back in November.
Braun talked openly for months about the possibility of trying to replace Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who can’t seek reelection because of term limits, rather than running again for the U.S. Senate seat he won in 2018. The two elections will take place at the same time.
The wealthy 68-year-old founder of a national auto parts distribution business, Braun campaigned for Senate as a strong supporter of then-President Donald Trump and has often aligned himself closely with U.S. Senate Republicans' most conservative members while bemoaning the Senate's deliberative pace.
Braun fueled his successful 2018 Senate campaign with more than $11 million in personal loans, vaulting from a little-known businessman to winning the Republican primary over then-Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, then unseating Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly.
A graduate of Jasper High School in Dubois County, Braun's career in state politics began as representative from Indiana District 63 from 2014 to 2017.
Braun publicly denounced Holcomb’s decision in March to veto a Republican-backed bill banning transgender girls from competing in Indiana girls' sports teams.
Braun will be facing at least one challenger on the Republican side, including Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch.
On a campaign website launched Monday, crouchforindiana.com, Crouch states she has "a clear vision for Indiana’s future – lower taxes, keep our citizens safe, protect the sanctity of life, and defend Hoosier values."
Crouch, 70, has served as lieutenant governor since 2017 as Holcomb's running mate in both the 2016 and 2020 elections. She previously was state auditor for three years after serving nine years as a state legislator from Evansville.
Discussions of possible 2024 statewide Democratic candidates have centered on Donnelly, who is now President Joe Biden’s ambassador to the Vatican, and former state schools superintendent Jennifer McCormick, who won election as a Republican in 2016 but has since switched parties after disputes with Republican Statehouse leaders over education policies.