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Former Indiana Lawmaker Steve Braun, Brother To GOP Sen. Mike Braun, Dies

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A leading Indiana state Republican passed away earlier this week after a bout of cancer.

Steve Braun, the brother of U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R), died days after his 63rd birthday “after a well-fought battle with cancer,” according to an obituary posted online.

“Braun preceded his brother — U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind. — as a member of the Indiana House, representing a suburban Indianapolis district in the Republican-controlled chamber from 2012 to 2014,” NWI.com said in a Thursday report.

Shortly after he won reelection to a second term, Steve Braun left the state House to become director of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development under Republican Gov. Mike Pence.

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At the time of his appointment, Pence — who went on to become Donald Trump’s vice president for a term — said that Braun’s experience serving the public and as a successful businessman, having owned a technology consulting company that was based in Chicago, provided him “the unique background and skills necessary to continue to drive Indiana’s workforce development and pair it with innovative career and education opportunities for Hoosiers.”

He sold his company in 2004 for roughly $30 million, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. “Braun stayed with the company for two more years to manage its worldwide consulting group,” the outlet added.

NWI.com noted further:

Braun resigned from DWD in 2017 and subsequently launched a bid for the 2018 Republican nomination in Indiana’s 4th U.S. House District, which includes Newton and Jasper counties in Northwest Indiana.

The seat was open because U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita — now Indiana’s attorney general — chose to run instead for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination against U.S. Rep. Luke Messer and two-term state Rep. Mike Braun.

Mike Braun ultimately prevailed in the Senate contest. But Steve Braun ran 5,717 votes behind now-U.S. Rep. Jim Baird, R-Greencastle, in the Republican U.S. House primary that included Secretary of State-elect Diego Morales.

“Steve was born on November 13, 1959 to Amos and Laverne (Beckman) Braun in Jasper, Indiana. After Steve graduated from Jasper High School in 1978, he earned a degree in Economics at Harvard University in Cambridge. After college, Steve married his middle school sweetheart, Jennifer (Schneider) Braun, and began a successful career working in technology consulting,” Braun’s obituary continued.

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“In 1990, he founded Braun Consulting, taking his company public in 1999 and selling it to Fair Isaac Group in 2004. During this time, Steve acquired land in Dawson Springs, Kentucky and developed a beautiful space for farming, cattle ranching, and recreation that has been enjoyed by family and friends for years. He additionally began land acquisition around the greater Indianapolis area and went on to form Braun Property Development with his sons and son-in-law,” it added.

At one point, Braun began a campaign for the 2020 Republican nomination in Indiana’s 5th U.S. House District, but he withdrew at the time for unspecified health issues, NWI.com reported.

“In his final years, Steve had ample time to spend doing his favorite things: playing with his grandchildren, taking long motorcycle rides, establishing his reign as the Cinch Grandmaster, mushroom hunting, growing and studying his beloved Purple Martin colonies, and watching the Pacers,” his obituary added.

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In August, Indiana residents lost another Republican lawmaker, Rep. Jackie Walorski, to a motor vehicle accident.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am sharing this statement from the Office of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski,” Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on Twitter.

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“I’m shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the other victims of this terrible crash. Though we came from very different places politically, she was always prepared to work together where there was common ground, always decent and straightforward, and she cared deeply about her work and her constituents,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said on Twitter.

“Jackie was a very good friend. I’m devastated. This is a major loss for our community,” Indiana state Rep. Jake Teshka (R) said.

“My heart is broken for Dean, the Walorski family, and all who knew and loved my friend Jackie,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., added.

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