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GOP Sen. Mike Braun files to run for Indiana governor in 2024, setting up open Senate race

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By Alex Rogers and David Wright, CNN

Republican Sen. Mike Braun filed paperwork on Wednesday to run for governor of Indiana in 2024, setting up an open race for the seat.

“Mike Braun has filed his paperwork to run for governor and will be making an official announcement of his candidacy very soon,” Braun’s chief of staff, Josh Kelley, said in a statement.

GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb is term-limited and cannot run for reelection in 2024.

Braun, who previously served in the Indiana House, was first elected to the US Senate in 2018 after prevailing in a crowded Republican primary that featured former US Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer. He then unseated Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in the general election.

Braun has grown dissatisfied with how the Senate operates; He was among the few GOP senators to back National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Rick Scott‘s unsuccessful attempt to oust GOP leader Mitch McConnell earlier this month.

Braun is not the first Republican to file for Indiana governor. Eric Doden, the former president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation under then-Gov. Mike Pence, is already in the race. Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch is also considered a potential candidate.

Politico first reported Braun’s decision to file for a gubernatorial campaign.

Braun’s decision will leave an open Senate seat in the reliably red state. Indiana GOP Reps. Trey Hollingsworth, Victoria Spartz and Jim Banks are considered potential candidates to succeed him.

“Congressman Banks is seriously considering running for the US Senate and is strongly positioned to win a statewide primary and general election in Indiana,” a Banks spokesperson said. “He will spend the holidays discussing with his wife, family and friends around the state how he can best serve Indiana.”

Banks, the chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee, recently lost a bid for a top House GOP leadership post.

Hollingsworth appears open to a bid for Senate or governor, telling CNN on Wednesday that there were “several” positions that appeal to him.

“There’s several places that I might be able to serve Hoosiers,” said Hollingsworth, who is leaving the House next month after three terms. “The question is, ‘Where can I best serve them?’ And, ‘Am I the right person to serve them?'”

“I want to find new ways to solve problems that I hear about every day from Hoosiers,” he added. “I think there are several roles out there, available and open, where I can do that.”

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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