Former State Assemblyman Steve Braun, R-Zionsville, who headed the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and attempted to represent part of Northwest Indiana in Congress, has died.
According to his obituary, the cause of death on Friday was cancer. He was 63.
Braun preceded his brother – US Senator Mike Braun, R-Ind. – as a member of the Indiana House, which represented a suburban Indianapolis district in the Republican-controlled House from 2012 to 2014.
Braun left his legislative office shortly after his re-election for a second two-year term to become director of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development under Republican Gov. Mike Pence.
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Pence said at the time that Braun’s experience as a public servant and successful entrepreneur — he once owned a technology consulting firm based in Chicago — gave him “the unique background and skills needed to continue advancing Indiana’s workforce development and with an innovative career.” connect and educational opportunities for Hoosiers.”
Braun resigned from DWD in 2017 and subsequently launched a bid for the 2018 Republican nomination in Indiana’s 4th U.S. Representative District, which includes Newton and Jasper counties in northwestern Indiana.
The seat was open because US Rep. Todd Rokita – now Indiana’s Attorney General – chose to run instead for the Republican US Senate nomination against US Rep. Luke Messer and two-year state representative Mike Braun.
Mike Braun finally prevailed in the Senate competition. But Steve Braun was 5,717 votes behind current US Rep. Jim Baird, R-Greencastle, in the primary for the Republican US House of Representatives, which also included Secretary-elect Diego Morales.
Steve Braun later launched a campaign for the 2020 Republican nomination in Indiana’s 5th US House District, but withdrew before the primary due to unspecified health issues.
He is also survived by his wife Jennifer; five children and 10 grandchildren; and assistant Janet Ostendorf.