Republican Indiana lawmaker launching bid for Senate

Indiana state Rep. Mike Braun plans to join the increasingly crowded Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

The Jasper lawmaker said Tuesday that he intends to “move forward” with a bid, which he will formally announce soon.

Braun was elected to the Legislature in 2014 and also owns an auto parts distribution company.

He says his business background and experience grappling with federal regulations make him an ideal candidate.

U.S. Rep. Luke Messer is already running. Fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita is also preparing a bid and hiring campaign staff.

But Braun says an increasingly bitter feud between Messer and Rokita is turning off voters. He says harsh words between the two will only tear down the eventual Republican nominee and boost Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly’s re-election chances.