Mike Pence (R-Ind.)

Indiana governor (since January 2013)

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(Brendan Hoffman
Getty Images)

Why He Matters

Though he was once one of the most prominent House Republicans, Pence left all that behind as he was elected Indiana’s governor in 2012.

In the campaign to replace Mitch Daniels (R), Pence announced in May 2011 that he would make the race, calling it the "worst kept secret in Indiana politics."

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Pence says he’s being courted to run for president

The Indiana governor suggests he’ll decide between running for reelection or doing something else next year.

READ IN: Friday, April 11, 2014: Sebelius out, transportation bill’s foundation laid, Tillis leads in North Carolina, Pence back on the WH’16 market?

Sebelius out, transportation bill’s foundation laid, Tillis leads in North Carolina, Pence back on the WH’16 market?


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At a Glance

  • Career History: House Republican Conference Chairman November 2008-November 2010); Chairman, Republican Study Committee (2005-2006); Radio Host, Mike Pence Show (1994 to 2000)
  • Birthday: June 7, 1959
  • Hometown: Columbus, Ind.
  • Alma Mater: Hanover College, B.A., 1980; Indiana University, J.D, 1986
  • Spouse: Karen
  • Religion: Protestant
  • DC Office: 100 Cannon House Office Building, 202-225-3021
  • District Offices: Anderson, 765-640-2919; Richmond, 765-962-2883; Muncie, 765-747-5566

Path to Power

Pence was born in Columbus, Ind., one of six children.

Pence received his undergraduate degree from Hanover College in 1980. It was at Hanover that he experienced a conversion of sorts - from Democrat sympathizer to Republican, and from Catholic to evangelical protestant. He attended Indiana University law school, where he received his J.D. in 1986.

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The Issues

Pence is one of the most outspoken conservatives in the Republican Party. He is a particular champion of controlling the federal budget and cutting government spending, and also supports free markets and "traditional" values.

His decisions are guided by his religion - he tells people "I am a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order."

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The Network

Pence works closely with other conservative members of the House. He is especially close with Hensarling and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.). He worked with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) on the 2005 federal shield law to protect journalists and has allied himself with prominent senators such as Hutchison.

Pence was the only House member to file a lawsuit charging that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law was unconstitutional. At the time, he said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) "was so deep in bed with the Democrats his feet are coming out of the bottom of the sheets." Their relationship has remained chilly.


Additional Resources

  1. Hulse, Carl. "G.O.P. in House Gears Up for New Leadership Fight," New York Times, Nov. 15, 2008
  2. Martin, Jonathan and Hunt, Kasie, Politico, "Conservatives urge Mike Pence to fill GOP 'void,'" Jan. 21, 2011
  3. Almanac of American Politics, 2008 edition
  4. Pence, Mike, "Confessions of a Negative Campaigner, Indiana Policy Review, Summer 1991, http://www.mikepence.com/confessions.htm
  5. Lichtblau, Eric, et al, "From Places Unexpected, Support for the Press," New York Times, May 10, 2008
  6. Lee, Christopher, "Putting a New Face on Conservatism," Washington Post, March 22, 2005
  7. "Election 2010: Republicans net 60 House seats, 6 Senate seats and 7 governorships" Nov. 3, 2010. Chris Cilizza, WashingtonPost.com.
  8. Schneider, Mary Beth and Maureeen Groppe, The Indianapolis Star, "Rep. Mike Pence closes door on White House run," January 27, 2011
  9. O'Connor, Patrick, "Boehner Holding on as House Mayor," Politico, Nov. 16, 2008
  10. "Mike Pence resigns from GOP leadership" Nov. 3, 2010. Jake Sherman, Politico.com.
  11. DeParle, Jason, "Star of Right Loses His Base at the Border," New York Times, Aug. 29, 2006
  12. Allen, Mike. "A Compromise Plan on Immigration," Newsweek, May 23, 2006
  13. Blake, Aaron, The Washington Post's Fix, May 5, 2011
  14. Lee, Christopher, "Putting a New Face on Conservatism," Washington Post, March 22, 2005
  15. Washington Post Votes Database
  16. Schuman, Tom, "Getting the Word Out," BizVoice Indiana Chamber, March 2007
  17. Human Events, 2007
  18. Hulse, Carl, The New York Times, "G.O.P. Split Over Big Plans for Storm Spending," Sept. 16, 2005
  19. Citizens Club for Growth