Mike Pence

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Mike Pence
Mike Pence, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
50th Governor of Indiana
Assumed office
January 14, 2013
Lieutenant Sue Ellspermann
Preceded by Mitch Daniels
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 6th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Dan Burton
Succeeded by Luke Messer
Chairperson of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Adam Putnam
Succeeded by Jeb Hensarling
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by David McIntosh
Succeeded by Chris Chocola
Personal details
Born Michael Richard Pence
(1959-06-07) June 7, 1959 (age 55)
Columbus, Indiana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Residence Governor's Residence 2013-Present
Alma mater Hanover College
Indiana University, Indianapolis
Religion Evangelicalism[1]
Website Official website

Michael Richard "Mike" Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who has served as the 50th Governor of Indiana since 2013. He previously represented Indiana's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013 and served as Chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011.[2]

Pence was mentioned as a possible candidate for President of the United States in 2008 and 2012.[3] In September 2010, Pence was the top choice for President in a straw poll conducted by the Value Voters Summit. He has expressed interest in running for President of the United States in 2016.[4][5] Pence, a former Democrat who has been compared to Ronald Reagan, has been mentioned by analysts as a potential frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2016.[6][7]

Early life[edit]

Education and family[edit]

Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana, one of six children of Nancy Jane (née Cawley) and Edward J. Pence, Jr., who ran a string of gas stations.[8][9] His maternal family was of Irish Catholic descent.[1] He was named after his grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, a Chicago bus driver who came to the United States from Ireland through Ellis Island.[10] He graduated from Columbus North High School in 1977. Pence earned a B.A. in History from Hanover College in 1981 and a J.D. from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1986. While at Hanover, Pence joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, serving as his chapter's president.[citation needed]

Pence and his wife Karen have three children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey. Pence is a declared Christian and attends Community Church of Greenwood in Greenwood, Indiana, an evangelical Christian Church. During his service in the U.S. House, the Pence family lived in Arlington, Virginia when Congress was in session.[citation needed]


After graduating from Hanover, Pence served as an admissions counselor at the college from 1981 to 1983.[11] Pence worked as an attorney in private practice upon graduating from law school in 1986.[12] He continued to practice law following his second run for congress, when in 1991, he became the president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation; an affiliate of the State Policy Network, which is a self-described free-market think tank.[13] Pence held this position until 1994, when he began a career in talk radio. Syndicated by Network Indiana, Pence hosted 'The Mike Pence Show', which aired weekdays on 18 stations throughout the state.[14] Additionally, Pence hosted a weekend political talk show out of Indianapolis from 1995 to 1999.[15]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Pence ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1988 and 1990, losing to longtime Democratic incumbent Phil Sharp with an endorsement from President Ronald Reagan.

In 2000, Pence was elected after six-year incumbent David M. McIntosh opted to run for governor of Indiana. His first term in Congress began in January 2001. The 6th District comprises all or portions of 19 counties in eastern Indiana, and was numbered as the 2nd District during his first term in Congress. He was re-elected four more times by comfortable margins. In the 2006 House elections, he defeated Democrat Barry Welsh. He was listed as one of the top ten legislators by Esquire magazine in 2008.[16]

In 2010, Pence was encouraged to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Evan Bayh.[17][18][19] Pence led Senator Bayh by a 3 point margin according to Rasmussen polling done on January 21 and 24, 2010.[20] On January 26, 2010, in an open letter to friends and supporters through his social media Facebook, Pence announced his decision not to run for the Senate; he cited his role in the Republican leadership and the belief that Republicans would win back the House in 2010 as his reasons for staying in the House of Representatives.[21] On November 8, 2006, Mike Pence announced his candidacy for leader of the Republican Party (minority leader) in the United States House of Representatives.[22]

Pence's release announcing his run for minority leader focused on a "return to the values" of the 1994 Republican Revolution.[23] On November 17, Pence lost to Representative John Boehner of Ohio by a vote of 168-27-1 (the one vote went to Representative Joe Barton of Texas).[24]

Pence defeated Reverend Barry Welsh in the 2008 House election. Pence was elected by his GOP colleagues to become the Republican Conference Chairman, the third-highest-ranking Republican leadership position. He ran unopposed and was elected unanimously. He is the first representative from Indiana to hold a House leadership position since 1981.[2]

After the 2010 election, Pence announced that he would not run for re-election as the committee's chair.[25] On May 5, 2011, Pence announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana in 2012.[26][27] Pence's announcement was anticipated by his resignation of his leading position in the GOP caucus in the House.


Pence served for a time as the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House Republicans. He has stated his support of Israel and its right to attack facilities in Iran to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons, has defended the actions of Israel in its use of deadly force in enforcing the blockade of Gaza and has referred to Israel as "America's most cherished ally".[28] Pence was a cosponsor of a Spending Limit Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment would limit federal spending to one-fifth of the American economy - the historical average since World War II.[29]

In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina struck the Louisiana coast, Pence favored offsetting the costs of the hurricane with $24 billion in other spending reductions.[30]

Pence was a supporter of earmark reform. He voted against the $139.7 billion transportation-treasury spending bill in June 2006, and in favor of a series of amendments proposed that same month by Jeff Flake that would strip other members’ earmarks from the federal budget. Pence, on occasion, secured earmark projects such as $500,000 for the “Transit Acquisition and Intermodal Facility Project” in his state, as well as $250,000 for construction of a park in Portland. Pence secured earmarks for inclusion in a labor-health and human services 2007FY bill. This included $200,000 for both Ball State University’s Center for School Innovation in Muncie and to the Madison County Community Health Center in Anderson. Pence also secured $100,000 for Ivy Tech Community College in Columbus.[31]

Pence has opposed the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine, as he believes that it would "censor the airwaves of American talk radio and American Christian radio".[32] The doctrine has not been in effect since 1987 and in 2011, was formally removed from the FCC guidelines by the FCC.

Pence is an advocate of federal restrictions of online gambling. In 2006, he along with 34 others cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act[33] and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.[34]

In June 2006, Pence unveiled a plan he describes as "no amnesty immigration reform" consisting of increased border security, followed by strict enforcement of laws against hiring illegal aliens, and a guest worker program. This guest worker program requires potential participants to apply from their home country to government-approved job placement agencies that match workers with employers who cannot find Americans for the job.[35] The plan has received support from conservative leaders such as Dick Armey.[36] Pat Buchanan described this as "stealth amnesty," claiming that it is merely a "one week vacation" for illegal immigrants to return to their home country to apply for jobs under the program.[37] Others (Phyllis Schlafly and Tom Tancredo) have criticized Pence's plan.[38][39]

Pence has referred to Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin's findings that throughout history, societal collapse was brought about by the deterioration of marriage and family.[40] He has advocated a constitutional same-sex marriage ban, but did not champion such a proposed ban for his first year as governor.[41]

Pence supported the joint resolution authorizing military action against Iraq, otherwise known as the Iraq Resolution.[42] The resolution cited factors including Iraq's noncompliance with the conditions of the 1991 ceasefire agreement, including interference with U.N. weapons inspectors, Iraq's "brutal repression of its civilian population," and Iraq's hostility towards the United States as demonstrated by the 1993 assassination attempt on former President George H. W. Bush and firing on coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones following the 1991 Gulf War as reasons for taking action.[43]

During the Iraq War, he opposed setting a public withdrawal date from Iraq. During an April 2007 visit to Baghdad, Pence and John McCain visited Shorja market, the site of a deadly attack in February, 2007, that claimed the lives of 61 people. During the visit, Pence and Senator John McCain were accompanied by General David Petraeus. Pence and McCain described the visit as evidence that the security situation in Iraqi markets have improved.[44] The visit was criticized by the New York Times as giving a false indication of how secure the area was due to the extremely heavy security forces McCain brought with him. The visit to the market took place under large security including helicopters overhead.[45]

Mike Pence has opposed closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and trying the suspected terrorists in the U.S.[46] Pence believes that “the Obama administration must overturn this wrongheaded decision”.[46] As an alternative, Pence has said that the "enemy combatants" should be tried in a military tribunal.[46]

After the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Affordable Care Act on June 28, 2012 he was quoted by sources at a closed door meeting as likening the ruling upholding the Democratic health care law to the September 11 terrorist attacks.[47] He immediately apologized for making the statement.[48]

His Committee assignments in the U.S. House included: Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia (Vice Chair), Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution (Vice Chair), and Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet. While in Congress he belonged to the Congressional Internet Caucus, International Conservation Caucus, Sportsmen's Caucus, and the Tea Party Caucus.

Governor of Indiana[edit]

2012 election[edit]

On May 5, 2011, Pence announced that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana in 2012.[49] On November 6, 2012, he won the gubernatorial election,[50] defeating Democratic nominee John R. Gregg and Libertarian nominee Rupert Boneham. Incumbent Republican Governor Mitch Daniels was term-limited.


Pence began his first term as the 50th Governor of Indiana on January 14, 2013.

In late 2014, Philip Rucker of The Washington Post noted Pence's "relatively thin record as governor", which was because the previous governor, Mitch Daniels, "already had cut taxes, balanced the budget and spurred economic development."[7]

Pence made tax reform, namely a 10% income-tax rate cut, a priority for 2013.[51][7] While he did not get the 10% cut he advocated, Pence did accomplish his goal of cutting state taxes.[7] Legislators cut the income tax by 5% and also killed the death tax.[7] Speaker of the House Brian Bosma said of the deal, “What we ended up doing was putting together a collective tax package that results in the largest tax cut in our state’s history, about $1.1 billion dollars.”[52]

On June 12, 2013, the Indiana legislature overturned Pence's veto of a bill that would retroactively authorize a local tax. Lawmakers overrode the governor's veto in a 68—23 vote in the House and a 34-12 one in the Senate.[53] With an interesting twist, Republican legislators overwhelmingly voted against Pence, while most Democrats supported his veto.[54] The Jackson-Pulaski tax fix, one of three bills vetoed by the Governor during the session, addressed a 15-year-old county income tax which had been imposed to fund the construction of jail facilities with the stipulation that the tax be lowered by 1% after the first several years. The reduction was not implemented and thus county residents paid an additional 1% tax that they were legally not required to pay. The bill, which was passed by a huge majority of legislators and subsequently vetoed by Pence, allowed money to be kept and not returned to the tax payers as would have otherwise been necessary.[55]

Pence’s communications director Christy Denault, said that he “stands by [his] veto, and regret[s] that it was not upheld by the Indiana General Assembly today. While this bill contained some positive provisions, the Governor believes that when Hoosiers pay taxes that are not owed, they should be offered relief. Hoosiers can be assured that Governor Pence and his administration will continue to put taxpayers first.”[54] Republicans argued that the veto itself would be unfair for taxpayers as state tax payers had to make up the money spent on calculating refunds to the tax payers in Jackson and Pulaski Counties. The bill also included tax breaks and benefits for veterans and veteran families that many legislators were unwilling to see vetoed. “Sustaining this veto will be a tax increase on the innocent spouses of disabled (and) deceased veterans, a tax increase through no fault of their own,” said Republican District 7 State Senator Brandt Hershman “Sustaining the veto will be a vote against the innocent taxpayers in Pulaski and Jackson counties who still regardless of our action here ... have to fund a jail.”[54]

During Pence's first term as Governor, he was criticized for censoring comments on his official government Facebook page.[56]

Electoral history[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Indiana's 6th Congressional District Election (2002)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 118,436 63.79%
Democratic Melina Ann Fox 63,871 34.40%
Libertarian Doris Robertson 3,346 1.80%
Totals 185,653 100.00%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold


Indiana's 6th Congressional District Election (2004)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence* 182,529 67.09%
Democratic Melina Ann Fox 85,123 31.29%
Libertarian Chad (Wick) Roots 4,397 1.62%
Totals 272,049 100.00%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold


Indiana's 6th Congressional District Election (2006)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence* 115,266 60.01%
Democratic Barry A. Welsh 76,812 39.99%
Totals 192,078 100.00%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold


Indiana's 6th Congressional District Election (2008)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence* 180,549 63.96%
Democratic Barry A. Welsh 94,223 33.38%
Libertarian George T. Holland 7,534 2.67%
Totals 282,306 100.00%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold


Indiana's 6th Congressional District Election (2010)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence* 126,027 66.57%
Democratic Barry A. Welsh 56,647 29.92%
Libertarian Talmage "T.J." Thompson, Jr. 6,635 3.51%
Totals 189,309 100.00%
Voter turnout 41%
Republican hold

As Governor of Indiana[edit]


Republican Indiana gubernatorial election primary in Indiana, 2012[57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 554,412 100%
Totals 554,412 100%
2012 Indiana gubernatorial election[58]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mike Pence / Sue Ellspermann 1,264,877 49.62% -8.22%
Democratic John Gregg / Vi Simpson 1,183,213 46.42% +6.38%
Libertarian Rupert Boneham / Brad Klopfenstein 101,028 3.96% +1.84%
No party Donnie Harold Harris / George Fish (write-in) 34 0%
Margin of victory 81,664 3.20% -14.61%
Turnout 2,549,152 57.81% -2.08%
Republican hold Swing


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "Mike Pence Official Biography".

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  2. ^ a b "U.S. Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana to get House GOP's No. 3 leadership job". TheIndyChannel.com. November 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-20. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Curse of the 2012 GOP candidate?". MSNBC. June 24, 2009. 
  4. ^ Lewis, Matt K. (September 10, 2013). "Pence and The Revolution: Five reasons he might be the 2016 dark horse to watch". The Daily Caller. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ Howell, Jr., Tom (September 30, 2014) "Indiana Gov. Mike Pence conspicuously schedules visit to N.H.", The Washington Times. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  6. ^ Thomas, Cal (December 16, 2014).Could Indiana Gov. Mike Pence be our next president?, Fox News, Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e Rucker, Philip (December 12, 2014) - "Mike Pence Lays Out Vision for a Presidential Campaign. But Will He Be a Candidate?". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "Wedding Bells Ring Out For 3 S. Side Couples". Chicago Daily Tribune. April 5, 1956. 
  9. ^ http://www.indystar.com/relart/20121006/NEWS05/210060343
  10. ^ Deparle, Jason (August 29, 2006). "Star of the Right Loses His Base At the Border". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ Tony Cook (May 31, 2014). "Is Gov. Mike Pence moving to the center amid talk of presidential run?". indystar.com. 
  12. ^ National Retail Federation. "Your Local Officials: Indiana Governor Mike Pence". nrf.com. 
  13. ^ Karly Moll (November 7, 2012). "Profile: Indiana Gov.-elect Mike Pence". usatoday.com. 
  14. ^ Indiana University (2014). "Mike Pence Congressional Papers". iub.edu. 
  15. ^ Politico (2010). "Arena Profile: Mike Pence". politico.com. 
  16. ^ "10:01 pm: Challengers face uphill battle". The Herald Bulletin. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  17. ^ "Kristol: Draft Pence!". The Weekly Standard. 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  18. ^ "Is Pence inspired? - Josh Kraushaar". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  19. ^ Norman Cox, Capitol Watchdog. "Bayh Criticizes 'Ultraliberal' Leanings After GOP Upset - Indiana News Story - WRTV Indianapolis". Theindychannel.com. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  20. ^ "Election 2010: Indiana Senate - Rasmussen Reports". Rasmussenreports.com. 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  21. ^ "Incompatible Browser". Facebook. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  22. ^ U.S. Congressman Mike Pence : 6th District Of Indiana[dead link]
  23. ^ U.S. Congressman Mike Pence : 6th District Of Indiana[dead link]
  24. ^ "Boehner elected as Republican leader: Succeeds Hastert in top GOP role in Democratic-controlled House", Associated Press, November 17, 2006
  25. ^ "Letter of Resignation from House Republican Caucus". Retrieved 2010-11-03. 
  26. ^ Camia, Catalina (January 27, 2011). "Rep. Pence to skip GOP race for president". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  27. ^ Muskal, Michael (5 May 2011). "Mike Pence to run for Indiana governor". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  28. ^ http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/Full-Interview-With-Congressman-Mike-Pence-101202939.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ Amash, Justin. "H.J.RES.73 Proposing a spending limit amendment to the Constitution of the United State". Library of Congress. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  30. ^ Hulse, Carl (September 16, 2005). "STORM AND CRISIS - CONGRESS - G.O.P. Split Over Big Plans for Storm Spending". United States; New Orleans (La); Louisiana: New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  31. ^ Cohn, Peter (June 19, 2006). "Earmark foe collects a few for his district". CongressDaily. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  32. ^ "Pence Responds To Pelosi Plan To Restore Fairness Doctrine". Mikepence.house.gov. 2008-07-07. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  33. ^ "Thomas (Library of Congress): HR 4411". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  34. ^ "Thomas (Library of Congress): HR 4777". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  35. ^ U.S. Congressman Mike Pence : 6th District Of Indiana[dead link]
  36. ^ VandeHei, Jim; Babington, Charles (2006-07-25). "Immigration Proposal Aims to Bridge Republican Divide". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  37. ^ "WorldNetDaily: The stealth amnesty of Rep. Mike Pence". Wnd.com. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  38. ^ "Guest Workers Aren't Cheap; They're Expensive - July 2006 Phyllis Schlafly Report". Eagleforum.org. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  39. ^ http://tancredo.house.gov/press/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1218
  40. ^ Congressional Record--House Vol. 152 Pt. 11. Congress. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  41. ^ Bradner, Erc (December 13, 2012). "Indiana GOP lawmakers say same-sex marriage ban measure likely". Courier & Press. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Mike Pence". OpenCongress Wiki. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  43. ^ "Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq". White House: Office of the Press Secretary. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  44. ^ Raghavan, Sudarsan; al-Izzi, Saad (2007-04-02). "Visiting Iraq, McCain Cites Progress on Safety Issues". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  45. ^ Semple, Kirk (2007-04-03). "McCain Wrong on Iraq Security, Merchants Say - New York Times". Iraq: Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  46. ^ a b c "Pence Urges President to Overturn "Wrongheaded Decision" Regarding Gitmo Detainees". Mikepence.house.gov. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  47. ^ "Rep. Mike Pence Compares Obamacare Ruling To 9/11". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  48. ^ "Health care ruling: Pence likens health care ruling to 9/11 - POLITICO.com". Politico. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  49. ^ Montopoli, Brian (January 27, 2011). "Mike Pence Says he Won't Run for President". CBS News. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  50. ^ "Pence in as governor of Indiana; Hassan wins N.H.". nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com. November 6, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  51. ^ (January 31, 2013) - "The State Tax Reformers" - Opinion. The Wall Stree Journal. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  52. ^ Trinko, Katrina (May 7, 2013) - "Governor Pence's Indiana-Tax Win". National Review. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  53. ^ Associated Press (June 12, 2013) - "Indiana Lawmakers Override Pence on Local Tax Measure". The Herald Bulletin. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  54. ^ a b c Schneider, Mary Beth (June 12, 2013) - "Indiana Lawmakers Override Gov. Mike Pence's Veto, Resolve County Tax Mixup". IndyStar.com. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  55. ^ (June 12, 2013) - "Legislature Overrides Pence Veto of Jackson-Pulaski Tax Fix". WIBC-FM 93.1. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  56. ^ Murray, Jon (June 28, 2013). "Governor apologizes for deleted Facebook comments". Newspaper (The Indianapolis Star). Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  57. ^ "Indiana Primary Election, May 8, 2012-United States Senator". Secretary of State of Indiana. June 5, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  58. ^ "Election Results". in.gov/apps/sos. November 28, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
David McIntosh
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Chris Chocola
Preceded by
Dan Burton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Luke Messer
Party political offices
Preceded by
Sue Myrick
Chairperson of the Republican Study Committee
Succeeded by
Jeb Hensarling
Preceded by
Adam Putnam
Chairperson of the House Republican Conference
Preceded by
Mitch Daniels
Republican nominee for Governor of Indiana
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Mitch Daniels
Governor of Indiana