GREENFIELD, Ind. — An Indiana state senator is entering the race for the eastern Indiana congressional seat that Republican Rep. Luke Messer is giving up to run for the U.S. Senate next year.

Republican State Sen. Mike Crider of Greenfield says he expects difficult competition in the heavily GOP 6th District. Crider is former law enforcement director with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and was first elected to the state Senate in 2012.

An older brother of Vice President Mike Pence is among other potential candidates for the seat. Greg Pence of Columbus has said he’s concentrating on his work as the chairman of Messer’s campaign fundraising efforts.

Messer announced last week he’s challenging Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly. Republican Rep. Todd Rokita is also preparing a Senate bid.