Dem 50
image description
Ties 1
GOP 49
image description

Mike Braun Will Not Run for Reelection in 2024

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) has announced that he will not seek reelection to the Senate in 2024. Instead, he will run for governor. Senators are not term-limited, so there was no reason for him to look for a new job. As a general rule, being governor of a big state (e.g., California or Texas) is a more powerful job than being senator from that state but being senator from a small state (e.g., North Dakota or Maine) is a more powerful job than being governor. Indiana is a medium-sized state, so it is kind of a wash. Before he was a senator, Braun was CEO of a distribution company, so he is used to making decisions and getting things done rather than making speeches and having nothing happen. Maybe that's why he's looking for a change of pace.

Braun's decision will set up a feeding frenzy in both parties. Since Indiana is a red state, lots of Republicans will be interested in the seat. Two representatives, Victoria Spartz (R-IN) and Jim Banks (R-IN), have already expressed interest. More candidates are sure to join in.

For Democrats, it is an uphill climb but not hopeless, especially since it is an open seat. Joe Donnelly (D) served from 2013 to 2019 and Evan Bayh (D), son of long-time Democratic senator Birch Bayh, served from 1999 to 2011. But to seriously compete, the Democrats need to find a stellar candidate. Note that the candidate will not be Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, though. He's moved from Indiana to his husband's home state of Michigan. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates