Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard interested in congressional seat


Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has been chosen as Donald Trump’s running mate, and as a result, a string of political dominoes could lead Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard to run for Congress.

Here’s how it works: Pence withdrew his name from the ballot for governor since in Indiana a candidate can’t run for two offices at once. Because there’s an opening, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, who represents Carmel, is interested in running for governor in Pence’s place. She can’t run for Congress in 2016 and governor, so she removed her name from the ballot for the 5th District seat.

Now the party will select Pence’s replacement for governor, which could come down to Brooks, Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb or U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita. It’s possible another name could be considered.

If Brooks isn’t selected, she can ask her precinct committeemen to put her back on the ballot, but if she is chosen to run for governor the precinct committeemen will choose her replacement on the ballot for congress. Brainard said he’s been asked to consider running if that opportunity arises.

“I really love my job as mayor, but I’ve gotten quite a few calls asking me to consider this,” he told Current in Camel. “I don’t know which way I’ll go, but I’m considering it.”

Indiana’s 5th Congressional District has been Republican since 1993. If Brainard, a Republican, won the seat, he would resign his office as mayor before being sworn into Congress. So, sometime before the end of this year the precinct committeemen for the area would meet and choose who would replace Brainard as mayor of Carmel, and that person would finish out the remaining three years on his term in office.

Brainard declined to discuss more about the chance to run for Congress, saying it’s way too early in the process, but he said he’s interested and he’ll wait to see what happens.

This story will be updated.