Purdue Universiy President and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels dashed the dreams of his loyalists Thursday morning, stating he would not seek his former job if Donald Trump picks current Gov. Mike Pence to be his running mate.
“I think it is appropriate that I make plain today that, should there be a sudden need to name a new nominee for governor, I will not present myself as a candidate nor would I accept the nomination if offered,” Daniels said in a written statement sent to IBJ shortly before reports emerged that Trump had indeed picked Pence.
"Over the last few days, I have been importuned to do so by a large number and wide variety of people I respect deeply,” Daniels wrote. "They include those now on the Indiana Republican ticket, those responsible nationally for supporting both gubernatorial and Senatorial campaigns, and a host of Hoosier citizens, many of whom I know and many more I was hearing from for the first time.”
He said “an apparent majority" of the Republican State Central Committee offered support to him.
Earlier Thursday, former Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle, who is a close confidant to Daniels, told IBJ it was a “tossup.”
He said Daniels understood the state was at a “critical juncture” but that his love for his job at Purdue would likely be what keeps him out.
“I think he views his work as not completed up there,” Oesterle said. “That’s a strong incentive for him to stay in that position.”
Daniels affirmed that in his statement.
"My reasons for this decision are entirely positive,” Daniels said. "I love Purdue, its students, staff, and alumni. I believe that good things are occurring at our university and am enthusiastic about pursuing them further."