Pence Won’t Run for President in 2012
Updated 5:02 p.m.
A former operative for Rep. Mike Pence says the Indiana Republican won’t be running for president. Pence plans to reveal the decision about his political future Thursday, multiple outlets reported, and former Pence Political Director Jerry Alexander told Roll Call that the Congressman isn’t likely to announce much.
“There’s a 100 percent chance that he’s not going to announce a run for president,” said Alexander, who worked for Pence from 2001 to 2007.
That means Pence will be running for governor, ending more than a year of speculation about whether he’d seek national office. The Indianapolis Star said it would post Pence’s announcement after 7 p.m. Eastern time.
The Indiana Republican stepped down from his post as chairman of the Republican Study Committee following the 111th Congress, a sure sign he wasn’t looking to advance in the House, and he has attended events in early presidential primary states meant for potential Republican candidates for president. Several former Members, including Dick Armey, have been attempting to draft Pence for a White House bid.
Alexander said Pence has committed to attending nine Lincoln Day dinners in Indiana counties in February and March, not the kind of schedule a presidential candidate would plan. But the Congressman would be ill-advised to announce a run for governor this month, since Indiana law prohibits candidates from raising money before the state legislative session ends in April.
“So basically if Mike Pence were to announce he was a candidate for governor tomorrow, that would mean he couldn’t raise any money,” Alexander said. “He can say I am not running for president and still be able to raise money as a House candidate and use that money for governor’s race.”
Current Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels can’t run for re-election in 2012 because of term limits. He’s also exploring a run for the presidency.
Pence’s decision may set dominoes in motion in Indiana. A number of Republicans are exploring running for Pence’s seat in the House, and others are looking at running against longtime Republican Sen. Dick Lugar in the primary.
Update: The Star posted the news early with a letter Pence and his wife Karen sent to supporters.
“In the choice between seeking national office and serving Indiana in some capacity, we choose Indiana,” Pence wrote. “We will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.”
The Congressman said he would decide his next step “later this year.”