Apr 17, 2024 - Politics

Meet Indiana gubernatorial candidate Mike Braun

U.S. Sen Mike Braun in a blue suit touching his glasses

Searching for anything nice to say about Indianapolis. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

As Hoosiers cast ballots in the gubernatorial primaries between now and May 7, Axios asked candidates in the crowded GOP field about their views on top policy issues, Indianapolis and how they'd run the state.

What's happening: Over the next week, we're rolling out surveys of all six candidates in alphabetical order.

Up first: U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, who won his seat in 2018 through a largely self-funded campaign.

  • Braun, 70, made his fortune building his father's manufacturing business into a leader in auto parts distribution, based in Braun's hometown of Jasper.

🌱 Should Indiana legalize marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes?

I'm open to proposals for medical purposes with the proper input from those who would need to carry out the regulatory side.

💰 Do you think Indiana's road funding formula is fair?

We have to invest in the basic infrastructure that are our roads and bridges — all across the state. As governor, I will ensure that any state funding formula will reflect that we are a geographically diverse state.

🧐 Is the IEDC transparent enough?

I believe in transparency. For too long, they have operated behind closed doors, and more transparency has never hurt taxpayers.

⚖️ The state legislature has waded into a lot of local issues recently. Are you comfortable with the balance between local control and state intervention in local decisions?

It's important to work with the legislature on a case-by-case basis. If a member of the General Assembly is taking on an issue and getting results, you can be sure their constituents are the ones weighing in that something needed to be done.

🛣️ Would you support a state takeover of Washington and Meridian streets?

No.

ğŸŽ’ Is school choice working for Indianapolis kids and families?

I strongly support school choice, and it would be wrong to take data from one county and think that result is universal. School choice has never been a magic wand to all education issues — it is a moral obligation to parents, who are the primary stakeholders of their child's education.

👪 Should FSSA maintain the attendant care program, or are changes to reduce costs necessary?

The entirety of FSSA needs to be examined in the face of an estimated $1 billion budget shortfall. The attendant care program, along with all other FSSA programs impacted, needs to be assessed as they impact each other and not in a vacuum.

📈 What's one state agency that would function better at the end of your four-year term?

After two terms, my goal is to have our entire state government run more efficiently and entrepreneurial than it ever has and for Indiana to be a model that other states strive to replicate.

🧑‍💼 In 25 words or less, how would you pitch Indiana to the young, educated workers the state needs to keep and recruit more of?

Indiana will be a beacon of freedom and opportunity — for individuals, families, employees and entrepreneurs.

🩺 What's Indiana's biggest challenge right now?

We need to lower the cost of health care for Hoosiers.

🐘 Republicans have had control at the Statehouse and in the governor's office for much of the last two decades, yet you've raised concerns about the state's tax structure, our workforce, the infant and maternal mortality rates, among other issues. Do Indiana Republicans bear any responsibility for these challenges? If so, what would you do differently?

Responsibility falls on everyone to make Indiana a better state, and as governor, I will work on solutions to make Indiana better than it has ever been.

  • Our state is run very well in most areas, but I believe we can be a national leader and a beacon for Americans who believe in freedom and opportunity.
  • We can do better, and I have the record to prove I can get it done.

🥰 If you're elected governor, you'd be an Indianapolis resident. What's something you'd look forward to about living here? (Think, noun: person, place or thing)

Jasper has always been my home, and that community will always be my home.

🏖️ What's your favorite vacation spot in Indiana?

Walking through nature, especially in southern Indiana.

☝️ If a voter knows only one thing about you, what do you want it to be?

I'm a Main Street entrepreneur from Jasper, Indiana, and, if elected, I will be the most entrepreneurial governor we have ever had.

Go deeper: Meet the other candidates...

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