With the 2022 midterms now in the rear-view mirror, politicos are already looking forward to what the 2024 election will bring as sitting politicians have started making their moves.
One of those politicians making moves is Indiana GOP Sen. Mike Braun who has all but confirmed his intention of leaving his seat to run for governor of his state.
According to Fox News, the first-term senator has filed paperwork to run for Indiana’s gubernatorial race, leaving his seat open to a potentially crowded primary field.
The winner of the GOP primary will likely replace term-limited Republican incumbent Eric Holcomb in the Indiana governor’s mansion.
“I’m going to robustly finish out the two years as a senator,” Braun said, according to Business Insider.
Braun also stated that he would make his announcement official in “10 days to a couple of weeks.”
Braun is widely seen as a conservative stalwart in the Senate and was one of Sen. Rick Scott’s most vocal supporters during the Florida congressman’s attempt to oust Mitch McConnell from Senate leadership after the midterms.
Braun’s departure is sure to attract a sizable GOP primary field to find his replacement.
Two candidates have been heavily mentioned to run, Reps. Jim Banks and Victoria Spartz, as reported by Fox.
Banks, who currently chairs the influential Republican Study Committee, recently fell short of becoming House Majority Whip, losing out to Tom Emmer.
With his bid at leadership not working out, Banks is likely to take a closer look at Braun’s seat.
According to local source Indypolitics, Banks is now “all in for the U.S. Senate” and is building up his support base for his eventual run.
Spartz, who was first elected in 2020, is of Ukrainian descent and has seen her stature rise since the Russian invasion of her former homeland.
Whoever prevails in the GOP primary is heavily favored to win in the general given Indiana’s substantial Republican base.
Indiana’s other sitting Senator, newly re-elected Todd Young, gave his two cents on the upcoming race to succeed his delegation mate.
“I think it’ll be a crowded primary. And fortunately for the Hoosier State, we have a lot of talented people who might run for that seat,” Young said, Business Insider reported.
Braun himself foresees a competitive primary as well.
“I’m sure there’ll be plenty to fill that vacuum.”
Neither Banks nor Spartz have directly commented on Braun’s impending retirement, so speculation will continue as the field becomes more clear.
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