Jasper's Braun launching bid for U.S. Senate


JASPER — Mike Braun will officially announce next week his plan to run for U.S. Senate next year.


The Indiana state representative from Jasper confirmed his plan Tuesday night, the deadline date by which he said he would make a decision.

“I’m doing it mostly because the issues that impact businesses and people in general are at the federal level,” the Republican said this morning, “issues like health care, the tax code, jobs and the economy.”

Braun, 63, has been contemplating a run for a while, studying the idea most of this summer.

“Over the last six, seven weeks, I’ve been traveling across the state, making phone calls, getting phone calls of encouragement,” he said. “The enthusiasm for doing it has been building.”

Braun will join a crowded primary ballot, as Republican U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita are also planning to run. Democrat Joe Donnelly is the incumbent senator.

The feud between Messer and Rokita has also encouraged Braun to toss his hat into the senate race.

“It’s gotten off to a negative start,” Braun said, “and I don’t think that’s playing well out there. Each of these men have had long political careers. People seem to be interested in somebody who is from the outside and not part of the standard politics.”

Braun, who owns Meyer Distributing and Meyer Logistics in Jasper, was elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2014. He represents District 63, which includes Bainbridge, Boone, Columbia, Hall, Harbison, Madison and Marion townships in Dubois County and parts of Pike, Daviess and Martin counties.

As state representative, he has served on the House’s Ways and Means Committee, Transportation and Roads and the Select Committee on Government Reduction. During the last session, he co-sponsored the road funding bill that will put millions of dollars more into road repairs and maintenance and the regional infrastructure bill that would allow areas to help fund some of their own road projects.

He says his business background and experience grappling with federal regulations make him an ideal candidate. And the work he has done with the Indiana General Assembly has helped the state.

“Our state is in a pretty solid state,” Braun said. “Getting the roads bill passed was a goal of mine, and we did that. Getting the regional infrastructure bill passed will help us get traction on getting the Midstate Corridor infrastructure locally.”

After he makes his formal announcement next week, Braun will start putting together a campaign committee, he said.

The filing period to run for seats on the 2018 ballot will open in January and close a month later. Once he officially files for the U.S. Senate seat, he cannot file for his District 63 state representative seat, which will also be on the 2018 ballot.

Braun is a Jasper High School graduate and has a bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and master’s degree from Harvard College. He and his wife, Maureen, have four grown children: Jason, Jeff, Ashley and Kristen.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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