May 5, 2011 2 Comments
Today, Mike Pence has officially announced to supporters that he will be running for Governor. Pence held a conference call, sent out an email and released a video at a newly designed www.mikepence.com. A formal announcement will be held June 11th in Columbus.
Speculation that Congressman Pence would run for Governor has been going on for nearly a year since Pence decided not to run for U.S. Senate against Evan Bayh. This was before now Sen. Coats got in the race and then Sen. Bayh got out of the race. The Congressman spent last fall out on the stump, helping all the close Congressional races and building his team.
The announcement was supposed to be on Monday but was postponed due to the death of Osama bin Laden. And, of course, there was the issue of premature announcement yesterday when a pre-timed email was sent out by the campaign saying “Mike for Indiana” with blank text. We are sure someone got into some big trouble for that one.
So where does this leave the race for Governor?
First, it leaves us waiting for an opponent. We do not believe there will be a viable primary challenger to Mike Pence. On the Democrat side, it seems to be looking like John Gregg for Governor with Joe Donnelly opting for the U.S. Senate race.
Second, it leaves the race as a bit of a toss-up/leans Pence. Indiana is a Republican state but John Gregg is a conservative Democrat from the South and could potentially pose a threat. The real question for us is if Mike Pence can find a message that works for the General Election. While his strong, conservative stances on social issues have played well in conservative crowds nationally and here in Indiana, they may not be winning issues in a general election. President Obama will be on the ticket so that could be a challenge– unless Mitch Daniels is the Republican nominee and that would greatly benefit Indiana Republicans.
Let the games begin!