Michael Richard “Mike” Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and the Vice President-elect of the United States. He is currently serving as the 50th Governor of Indiana. A Republican, Pence was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2000. Born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, Pence graduated from Hanover College and earned a law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law before entering private practice. After losing two bids for a congressional seat in 1988 and 1990, he became a conservative radio and television talk show host from 1994 to 1999. Pence successfully ran for Congress in 2000 and represented Indiana’s 2nd congressional district and Indiana’s 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013, rising to the position of chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011. Pence positioned himself as a principled ideologue and supporter of the Tea Party movement, noting he was “a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” In 2012 Pence was elected the 50th Governor of Indiana. He successfully advocated the largest tax cut in Indiana’s history, pushed for more funding for education initiatives, and continued to grow the state’s budget surplus. However, he also stirred several high-profile controversies. In the midst of his re-election campaign for governor, Pence dropped out in July 2016 to become the vice presidential running mate for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and now President Elect. On November 8, 2016, Pence was elected Vice President of the United States.
Early Life and Career: Michael Richard “Mike” Pence was born June 7, 1959, in Columbus, Indiana, one of six children of Nancy Jane (née Cawley) and Edward J. Pence, Jr. (1929-1988), who ran a group of gas stations. His family was Irish Catholic Democrats. He was named after his grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, who emigrated from County Sligo, Ireland, to the United States through Ellis Island and became a bus driver in Chicago, Illinois. His maternal grandmother’s parents were from Doonbeg, County Clare. Pence graduated from Columbus North High School in 1977. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Hanover College in 1981,and a law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1986. While at Hanover, Pence joined the Phi-Gamma-Delta fraternity, where he became the chapter president. After graduating from Hanover, Pence was an admissions counselor at the college, from 1981 to 1983. After graduating from law school in 1986, Pence was an attorney in private practice. He ran unsuccessfully for a congressional seat in 1988 and in 1990. He became the president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, a self-described free-market think tank in 1991 and a member of the State Policy Network. Pence left the Indiana Policy Review Foundation in 1993, a year after beginning to host The Mike Pence Show, a talk radio program based in WRCR-FM in Rushville, Indiana. Pence called himself “Rush Limbaugh on decaf” since he considered himself politically conservative while not as outspoken as Limbaugh. The show was syndicated by Network Indiana and aired weekdays 9 a.m. to noon (ET) on 18 stations throughout the state, including WIBC in Indianapolis. From 1995 to 1999, Pence also hosted a weekend political talk show from Indianapolis.
U.S. House of Representatives: In 1988, Pence ran for Congress against Democratic incumbent Phil Sharp, but lost. He ran against Sharp again in 1990, quitting his job in order to work full-time in the campaign, but once again was unsuccessful. Mike Pence rejuvenated his political career by running for the U.S. House of Representatives again in 2000; this time winning the seat in Indiana’s 2nd congressional district after six-year incumbent David M. McIntosh opted to run for governor of Indiana. The district (renumbered as Indiana’s 6th congressional district beginning in 2002) comprises all or portions of 19 counties in easternIndiana. As a Congressman, Pence adopted the slogan he had used on the radio, describing himself as “a Christian, a Conservative and a Republican, in that order.” While in Congress, Pence belonged to the Tea Party Caucus. In his first year in office Pence established a reputation as one with strong convictions willing to go his own way. Pence was re-elected four more times by comfortable margins. In the 2006 and 2008 House elections, he defeated Democrat Barry Welsh.
Pence began to climb the party leadership structure and from 2005 to 2007 was chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House Republicans. In November 2006, Pence announced his candidacy for leader of the Republican Party (minority leader) in the United States House of Representatives. Pence’s release announcing his run for minority leader focused on a “return to the values” of the 1994 Republican Revolution.
However, he lost the bid to Representative John Boehner of Ohio by a vote, and one for Representative Joe Barton of Texas. In January 2009, Pence was elected as the Republican Conference Chairman, the third-highest-ranking Republican leadership position. He ran unopposed and was elected unanimously. He was the first representative from Indiana to hold a House leadership position since 1981. During Pence’s twelve years in the House, he introduced 90 bills and resolutions. In 2008, Esquire magazine listed Pence as one of the ten best members of Congress, writing that Pence’s “unalloyed traditional conservatism has repeatedly pitted him against his party elders.” Pence was mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for president in 2008 and 2012. In September 2010, he was the top choice for president in a straw poll conducted by the Values Voter Summit. That same year he was encouraged to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, but opted not to enter the race, even after Bayh unexpectedly announced that he would retire. Gun policy: In 2014, over the opposition of Indiana school organizations, Pence signed a bill, which allows firearms to be kept in vehicles on school property. In 2015, following a shooting in Chattanooga, Pence recruited the NRA to train the Indiana National Guard on concealed carry. Some National Guard officials from other states questioned why a civilian organization would be involved in a military issue. In May 2015, Pence signed into law Senate Bill 98, which limited lawsuits against gun and ammunition manufacturers and sellers and retroactively terminated the City of Gary’s still pending 1999 lawsuit against gun manufacturers and retailers that allegedly made illegal sales of handguns. The bill was supported by Republicans such as state Senator Jim Tomes, who hoped that the measure would attract more gun-related businesses to Indiana, but opposed by Gary mayor and former Indiana attorney general Karen Freeman-Wilson, who viewed the measure as “an unprecedented violation of the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of state government.”
Public health issues: Beginning in December 2014, there was an HIV outbreak in Southern Indiana. In 2011, Planned Parenthood ran five rural clinics in Indiana. The Republican controlled legislature and Pence defunded Planned Parenthood. In 2015, Pence and the Obama administration agreed to expand Medicaid in Indiana, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. As part of the expansion, Pence negotiated modifications to the program for Indiana that included co-payments by participants. The co-payments are linked to healthy behaviors on the part of the participants, so that, for example, a participant who quit smoking would receive a lower co-payment. Participants can lose benefits for failing to make the payments.
He became a born-again Christian in college, while a member of a non denominational Christian student group.
2016 Vice Presidential campaign: Pence endorsed Senator Ted Cruz of Texas in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries. Donald Trump considered naming Pence as his vice presidential running mate along with other finalists including New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former House speaker Newt Gingrich. The Indianapolis Star reported that Pence would end his re-election campaign and accept the Republican vice presidential nomination instead. This was widely reported on July 14, 2016. The following day, President Elect Donald Trump officially announced on Twitter that Pence would be his running mate. Immediately after the announcement, Pence said that he was “very supportive of President Elect Donald Trump’s call to temporarily suspend immigration from countries where terrorist influence and impact represents a threat to the United States.” Pence said that he was “absolutely” in sync with Trump’s Mexican wall proposal, stating that Mexico was “absolutely” going to pay for it. According to a Five-Thirty-Eight rating of candidates’ ideology, Pence is the most conservative vice-presidential candidate in the last forty years. Vice President-elect of the United States: On November 8, 2016, Pence was elected Vice President of the United States as President Elect Donald Trump’s running mate. He will take office on January 20, 2017 and become the fifth “Hoosier” to hold the office, following Schuyler Colfax, Thomas Hendricks, Thomas R. Marshall and Dan Quayle.
Personal Life: Pence and Karen Pence have been married since 1985. They have three children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey. During Pence’s service in the House, his family lived in Arlington, Virginia, when Congress was in session. Michael Pence’s son is a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Pence was raised in a Catholic family, served as an altar boy, and attended parochial school. He became a born-again Christian in college, while a member of a nondenominational Christian student group, and identified his freshman year—and specifically “a Christian music festival in Asbury, Kentucky, in the spring of 1978” referring to the Icthus Music Festival (ICHTHUS MUSIC FESTIVAL) at then Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky—as the moment he made a “commitment to Christ.” After that point, Pence continued to attend Mass (where he met his wife) and was a Catholic youth minister. Pence called himself Catholic in a 1994 news piece, although by 1995, he and his family had joined an evangelical mega church, the Grace Evangelical Church. In 2013, Pence said his family was “kind of looking for a church.” He has described himself as “a Christian, a Conservative and a Republican, in that order,” and as “a born-again, evangelical Catholic.” Pence is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs.
The governor, wearing a helmet and leather vest, waved to people as he led more than 100 other motorcyclists on an annual ride to raise money to help Indiana National Guardsmen and families who’ve fallen on hard times. Before they left from Monument Circle, Pence spoke to the crowd.
“Thanks for supporting our troops when they are abroad and at home,” he said. A change of clothes and a few hours later, the governor was at home in front of a thousand lawmakers and business leaders at an ALEC meeting, telling them America has a choice. “It is the path of less government, less regulation, more jobs more opportunity,” he side as the crowd applauded. Running for vice president, and stumping for his boss, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and now President Elect, Pence preached what he called strong common sense, conservative government. “We both know and believe that what ails this country will come as much from our state capitals as it ever comes from our nation’s capital,” he said to more applause. Pence touted improvements in Indiana’s economy, health care and schools as examples for the nation. “It is about improving people’s lives,” he said.
Pence was preaching to a choir, roughly 1,000 staunch, conservative state legislators, businessmen and other’s attending the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual convention. Their biggest applause came when Pence raised the importance of protecting the constitution, sanctity of life and Second Amendment, “… and all of our God-given liberties we must ensure the next president making appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States is President Donald Trump.” ABATE ride: Pence began the ABATE ride on Friday July 29, with a tribute to a fallen officer in San Diego. “Another police officer has fallen in the line of duty. Let me express my sympathies and the assurance of the prayers of the people of Indiana,” said Pence, who was on Monument Circle to kick off the Annual Governor’s Motorcycle Ride. The event benefits the Indiana National Guard Relief Fund. “It would be just a few days ago here in our own capital city that an IMPD officer was injured in the line of duty. The truth of the matter is, this is a very challenging in the life of law enforcement in this country. So as your governor and as a neighbor and as a friend, would you join me in thanking all those who stand on the thin blue line of law enforcement and make sure they know we appreciate them?” He also spoke out his record helping Indiana veterans, saying Indiana had doubled the budget for Veterans Affairs over the last four years. He also said Indiana has the second-lowest unemployment rate for veterans in the country. “Today we make one more installment in a debt we can never fully repay,” he said.