Braun hints at decision on gubernatorial run

Nov. 10—ANDERSON — A decision on a potential gubernatorial run by U.S. Sen. Mike Braun could be finalized in a matter of weeks, he told a gathering of business and local government leaders during a Thursday visit to Madison County.

"I'll make that decision public here in a couple weeks," Braun told those in attendance at the Madison County Chamber of Commerce's annual State of the County luncheon at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

"I'm going to robustly stay involved in what Hoosiers elected me to do, and when you hear (the decision), hopefully you'll be pleased with it."

Braun, a Republican, acknowledged that his choice will come in a polarized political climate and with the GOP possibly still in the minority in the U.S. Senate. He said the task of building influence in the party at the national level in order to weigh in on legislation and issues he's passionate about would likely take more than the two terms he's pledged to as a limit for his Senate service.

Braun was elected to the Senate in 2018, so a campaign for a second term in Congress would happen in 2024 if he chooses to run for that office again.

"Whatever I end up doing, it's going to be to stay engaged in what makes sense to take our Hoosier common sense — all the things we do so well here — and get it to rub off in D.C.," Braun said.

He said that in some ways, Republicans have contributed to legislative gridlock in Washington by not clearly articulating simple, well-conceived ideas to counter the Democrats' philosophy of increasing the size and scope of the federal government.

"Independents, I think, elect the swing state senators and the president," he said. "They want one of the two parties to come up with a sustainable business plan on a few issues.

"I haven't seen where we as Republicans have put out what the business plan would be for the country," Braun continued. "The other side's very clear. It's been on display the last two years, and people know we can't have more of that and pay for it."

He noted that, with results in several U.S. House races still pending, the recent midterm elections confirmed to him how entrenched the political, social and ideological divisions in the country remain.

"I think we're that evenly divided as a country that in the camps of blue and red, even if the folks that are blindly blue know that it hasn't been really all that rosy the last two years, they're not going to change camps," he said.

"Until someone can make a clear presentation that makes sense to more of the independents, those independents will tell us what makes more sense. They didn't speak loudly this time. Maybe they will in '24."

Follow Andy Knight on Twitter @Andrew_J_Knight, or call 765-640-4809.