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Pence to enter race for Indiana governor

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To no one's surprise, Republican Rep. Mike Pence said Thursday morning that he'll run for Indiana governor in 2012, giving the GOP early edge in the race.

The conservative member of Congress and Tea Party favorite, who said earlier this week he's made up his mind about the campaign, made the announcement during  conference call with supporters.

Pence's campaign committee let the cat out of the bag Wednesday by sending an e-mail, apparently by accident, that included a "Mike for Indiana" graphic in blue and yellow. While the e-mail did not include any text, it was the latest sign that Pence — who has not run for statewide office before — was set to get into the race.

Pence, 51, has widely been expected to run for governor since ruling out a White House bid and resigning the No. 3 slot in the House Republican leadership after winning a sixth term in November.

The native of Columbus told reporters Monday that he and his family have deliberated and prayed over the issue and came to a final decision Sunday. He originally planned to make his announcement that day, but rescheduled the call after the death of Osama bin Laden.

"My heart's desire is to continue to serve Indiana in some capacity, whether that's in the Congress or as a candidate for governor," Pence said Monday.

Pence often describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order." Pence enters the race with strong name recognition, a network of supporters and campaign cash that could help him clear the field of other Republicans considering a run at the office, such as GOP businessman Jim Wallace of Fishers.

Monica Boyer, an Indiana Tea Party activist invited to attend Thursday's conference call, described herself as a diehard Pence supporter and said she expects the party to coalesce behind him.

"I will put my life on hold to campaign for him," she said. "I believe in him probably more than any politician I've ever met."

Among Democrats, many consider former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg a leading potential candidate. Gregg has said he plans to form an exploratory committee but has not yet made a formal announcement.

U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly has also been mentioned, but he's considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Sen. Richard Lugar. Former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh and Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel have both said they will not run.

Current Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels cannot seek a third consecutive term and is expected to make a decision within weeks on whether he'll run for president. Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman is not running for governor.

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  • No Way!!
    He won't get my vote. I don't want Indiana to go backwards. Let's lean forward. People are tired of religion in politics. Look at Iran and see how well mixing politics and religion is working. I want freedom not oppression of some other person's brand of Christianity. Go away!
  • Idaho?
    For the record, Don, Idaho is significantly more conservative than Indiana.
  • Idaho?
    For the record, Don, Idaho is significantly more conservative than Indiana.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah
    Pence, yuk ! Get a real job and go away
  • Pence's slogan
    very simple:

    I did not take stolen money and did not trade on inside information.

    And I'm the only one who didn't. You decide who you can trust. You don't have to put your trust in God, put your trust in the obvious--one, and only one of us, is not a crook.
  • Mr. Sorg
    It was the Christian Right Republicans in the General Assembly who killed the government-consolidation bill and instead voted for anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and anti-abortion legislation that Mitch specifically asked them NOT to do.

    The math just doesn't look good for Pence if he keeps up the Christian Right rhetoric: he'll lose the Mitch/Obama voters from 2008 who don't want our legislature and governor imposing their brand of Christianity.
  • Pence to run for Gov
    Governmental reform has to be atop any agenda for the next Governor. It is the one failing of Gov. Daniels. Townships should be the new counties and counties should be the new regions. It's time for efficiency, accountability and honesty in local gov't!
  • Best News Ever
    Love Mike Pence. But it looks like his election will cause a slight drop in the Indiana population, with all the IBJ commenters threatening to move out. Oh well.
  • C'mon everybody
    Hum along with me, the theme song to "Leave it to Beaver" 'cuz we're GOIN' BACK!

    Women, you will be pregnant and give birth. Brown people, don't worry, some of my largest campaign contributors will build new prisons for you.

    -MP

  • Say it isn't so
    As a republican - I'd vote for any Democrat over Mike Pence. Really nice to see other posters commented saying NO to Mike Pence. Christian???? Please. The more they wear it on their sleeve the more it is NOT true. Please, Please, Please, let some other Republican step up to lead this great state. Anyone but this hypocrite.
  • Outta here
    I retire in two years. Then out of here and moving to Idaho. If Pence is elected and the Republican majority stays at the statehouse, who knows what kind of wacky stuff they will pass. Feel sorry for those left here who cannot move on.
  • State is in Good Shape
    As many might want to be upset with current leadership and the state of the state. Please make sure to note that Indiana is one of the most fiscally stable states in the country. Just imagine the issues we could have if we were Illinois, California, or New Jersey. The 3 of those states are led by mostly Democrats and look at what shape they are in. I'm not going to say that being far to the right is not a little scary, but I don't know if it is any worse then being far to left. Let's hope Pence isn't as out there as some people believe he will be. More than likely he's win the Governor's spot since the Democrats don't have anyone running who's worth voting for.
  • Couldn't have waited...
    Ah, I had hoped, apparently didn't work, that he would wait until 2016 to run, as that is when I will be retiring and leaving this backward state forever. In the meantime, though, I see very little difference in Mike Pence and the late and not lamented Osama bin Laden: both are theocrats who will vehemently oppose anyone who does not conform to their very rigid ideals. As long as you are white, heterosexual, wealthy and pretend to be a devout Christian, he will be your governor. If you fail to meet those standards, woe be to you...
  • Full of Hot Air
    This is a reason for Putz not to work for the next 18 months. It seems to me that when these boneheads run for office, they should resign their position and their pay. Because they sure don't do their job while they are campaigning.
  • Seperation of Church & State
    He needs to decide if he wants to be Governor or Pope.
  • oh, well
    I used to worry about "scary Democrats". Now I worry about scary Republicans. My son went to Afghanistan to fight against a bunch of theocrats who believe their faith is The One True Way that should be enshrined in government and laws.

    I predict that the anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion stylings of the Republican Christian Right will drive many moderates to vote Democrat.

    Run, John Gregg, run.
  • Governor Pence? Please No
    We haven't had a great governor since O'Bannon and I am definitely not voting for another lousy governor next year!! Please Pence don't run we need a governor that will think forward not backward.
  • Christian?
    A Christian? Where in the bible did Christ say to support the rich? to mistreat the old and sick and needy? to take from the poor and give to the rich? Maybe I have been reading a different bible.
  • It's scary if you are...
    Look, I'm a Christian, and his claim is scary to me, because his priorities in government are not what he claims. I think he's a conservative, a Republican, a big business benefactor, a family man, and somewhere, way down on the list, a Christian. Because one goes to church and claims Christ does not mean they have Christlike priorities, and Pence and most of the Tea Party "Christians" exhibit that kind of un-Christlike dogma.
  • pence as Gov.
    We're getting ready to be rid of one liar - so, we don't need to have another to take his place !!!
  • who's this Pence?
    oh wait! i remember! he's the guy that makes the rest of the state look like cafeteria christians that only pick up on hot issues for headlines. he reprents folks that vote on issues that dont effect their daily lives but screw the poor, anti-constitutional patriots, and dopes that want the kind of private business hand outs that make indiana slovenly in growth.
  • Re: Scary
    What will be really scary if he wins, which he probably will because this state is ubber conservative. But don't worry! Conservatives are all about getting govt. out of your life...except when they thrust their religious dogma on the electorate!
  • scary
    Pence often describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order."

    That is a very scary quote if you are not a Christian. I just hope if he wins that he will be the govenor for all of Indiana not just the Christians.

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