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Mike Pence headed to Iowa


Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading to Iowa. (AP Photo/Journal & Courier, John Terhune)

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), a conservative favorite, will soon visit Iowa to support the re-election campaign of the state’s governor.

Pence’s trip, set for Sept. 8, is the latest sign that he is considering a 2016 presidential bid.

Pence will be the keynote speaker at a Des Moines luncheon for Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and his running mate. Cam Sutton, a retired insurance executive, will host the event.

Three years ago, Sutton participated in an effort by a group of Iowa businessmen to draft Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) into the 2012 presidential race.  Branstad, who has served multiple terms as governor since 1983, has long been a key player in the state that holds the first nominating contest in the GOP presidential primary.

The Washington Post obtained an invitation to the gathering on Thursday.

Speaking last week with C-SPAN, Pence said he would travel frequently this fall to support GOP candidates. “You bet, around the country, I’m going to be telling the Republican story … particularly at the state level,” he said.

Pence will speak Friday in Dallas at a summit for Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group backed by the Charles and David Koch, the powerful conservative financiers who gave $200,000 to his 2012 gubernatorial campaign.

Earlier this year, Pence traveled to Michigan, New York, and Alabama to support Republican causes.

Before being elected governor, Pence served six terms in the House of Representatives, where he was elected conference chairman and chaired the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of conservative lawmakers.​

In an interview with The Washington Post in May, Pence acknowledged that he is weighing his 2016 options amid calls from some supporters to consider a presidential run.

“In the last few months, people have reached out,” he said. “I’m listening.”

Robert Costa is a national political reporter at The Washington Post.

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