U.S. Representative Mike Pence is running for Indiana Governor. The Republican from Indiana’s Sixth District announced on a conference call this morning with supporters that he will seek the state’s top executive position in 2012. Pence was expected to enter the race after he declined to make a bid for the Presidency.
The 10 a.m. conference call with supporters had originally been scheduled for Monday, but was postponed when the death of Osama Bin Laden dominated the day‘s news coverage. IUPUI Political Science Professor Brian Vargus said Pence starts off with a big edge in name recognition.
“Mike Pence spent many years on radio and TV as a talk-show host and a panel moderator. He‘s already well-known around the state to a lot of people. He‘s run for Congress not just in that district but in the old second,” Vargus said.
A blank email sent to a Pence mailing list yesterday had appeared to confirm a run: the congressman‘s new letterhead is captioned “Mike Pence for Indiana.” No Democrats have officially entered the race, but former House Speaker John Gregg has been laying groundwork to seek the Democratic nomination. Vargus said Pence would start out a heavy favorite against Gregg.
“He may not have the base that will allow him to really present a formidable challenge, unless — this always can happen to anybody — Pence makes a mistake,” Vargus said.
Former Hamilton County Councilman Jim Wallace has already announced his own bid for the Republican nomination, while former Attorney General Steve Carter is weighing a run.