Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana excites social and fiscal conservatives alike and will reportedly decide next month whether he will run for president or governor of his home state.
Pence energizes pro-life advocates with his consistent pro-life push — including his drumbeat for revoking taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Although members of Congress don’t normally rise to national prominence and just one has ever ascended to the presidency, Pence is defying the odds by building a solid national reputation that has him as one of the potential dark horse candidates who could vie for support against the main names currently dominating most of the discussion on the Republican side.
Republican Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, who is pro-life, announced today that health concerns will keep her from making a bid for the governor’s position and a source close to Pence told Politico that may be moving the congressman in the direction of mounting a 2012 gubernatorial bid.
“He will make a decision in the very near future,” the Pence ally said, saying it would likely come within the “first couple weeks of January.”
Should Pence run for governor, he would be the odds-on favorite as no major candidate from either party has stepped up to say they will run for the position currently held by pro-life Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Daniels, despite his strong pro-life record, has upset pro-life advocates by calling for a “truce” on social issues such as abortion and following it up with comments saying votes in the Indiana legislature on pro-life issues are fine as long as they don’t “get in the way” of votes on his top issues, education and economic reform. He is also considered a potential presidential candidate and, should Pence run for governor and avoid splitting up their Midwestern base, he may be more likely to wage a campaign.
Pence issued a statement praising Skillman today but stopped short of declaring his next step.
“Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman has served Indiana with integrity for more than thirty years and is among our most beloved public officials,” Pence said. “My family and I hold Becky in the highest regard and were troubled to learn that she was encountering challenges to her health.”
Earlier this year, Pence announced he would not seek a leadership position in the upcoming Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where he already holds the number three position. Political observers saw that move as Pence indicating he would likely leave the house and mount a bid for the presidency or governor.
That pro-abortion Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh decided not to run for governor may have also made it more likely Pence would seek that position.
Pence’s potential as a presidential candidate has already had pro-life advocates excited — so much so that he came in first place in the Values Voters Summit straw poll of hundreds of pro-life and conservative activists. http://www.lifenews.com/2010/09/18/nat-6700/
Pence ultimately finished with 24 percent of the vote at the pro-family event — good enough to rise above the most talked about presidential hopefuls. Mike Huckabee finished a close second, Mitt Romney came in third, Newt Gingrich fourth and Sarah Palin fifth.