Shannon Harper

Shannon Harper said she fondly recalls seeing Mike Pence as he was speaking to a first-grade class in Bartholomew County during his 2012 campaign.

The Columbus woman said that left a favorable impression in her mind.

“Personally, I think he’s the nicest guy,” Harper said. “He was also great with the kids, and was very personable to me.”

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When asked how she feels about Pence becoming vice president, Harper responded: “I’m all for it.”

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Travis Shrader

There’s a good reason why Travis Shrader supports Mike Pence.

The Columbus man said he was unable to afford to send his daughter, now 11, to a private school. However, actions taken by the Indiana governor provided Shrader’s family with a waiver and voucher that enabled the girl to attend, he said.

“I also think Mike would be a good choice as vice president, because of his religious beliefs,” Shrader said. “I just agree with a lot of things that Mike believes in.”

While attending the annual 4-H Barbecue Contest at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds Friday, Shrader said he also respects the fact that Pence was raised in a close-knit local family.

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Kevin Davis

As word spread that Donald Trump had chosen Mike Pence as his running mate, Kevin Davis said a one-word question emerged in his mind. Why?

“Trump is obviously working some type of angle, and thinks Pence will give him a leg up on the competition,” said Davis, a Bloomington resident who attended Friday’s local 4-H Barbecue Contest.

Other candidates Trump was considering as his running mate, such as Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie, have political baggage that could become negative factors during the campaign, Davis said.

“Now, Mike Pence has got quite a few people in Indiana that don’t like him,” Davis said. “But that negativity hasn’t yet spread across the United States as much as it has for Newt and Christie.”

Davis said he’s anxious to learn Trump’s other reasons for choosing Pence in the coming days.

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Bill Krueger

Although the policies of Mike Pence have stirred national controversy in recent years, Bill Krueger said it’s all fine with him.

Nevertheless, the Scipio resident said he would have preferred Newt Gingrich over Pence as Trump’s running mate.

“Newt is more of a fireball, and Mike is not,” Krueger said.

The Jennings County resident described Gingrich as a smart man with deep knowledge of the national political framework.

“He’ll just come back and let (his political opponents) have it,” Krueger said. “Pence just seems to me to be a little more laid back.”

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Kathryn Rayburn

Thirteen-year-old Kathryn Rayburn says she has fond memories of attending Mike Pence’s gubernatorial inauguration in January 2013 with her family.

The St. Bartholomew Catholic School student said one of the reasons her family attended was because her younger sister was featured in a 2012 Pence campaign commercial, she said.

“He’s a very good and kind person,” Rayburn said.  “So I think all this is pretty cool.”

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Jim LaMaster 

While many in Columbus were delighted when Trump confirmed Mike Pence as his running mate, the happiness emerged for different reasons.

“He’s got it!” said Jim LaMaster. “And that’s wonderful — because Mike Pence is not going to be our governor.”

Although the Columbus man acknowledged Pence’s popularity has tumbled during his term as governor, LaMaster said he doesn’t believe Pence was trying to avoid the embarrassment of losing the Indiana governor’s race.

“I just think he’s wanted to be on a presidential ticket for a couple of decades now,” LaMaster said. “He has a shot at it now — even though he’s running with Trump.”

Regardless of motivation, LaMaster said he believes Pence will still retain political integrity if Trump loses.

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Nikhal Nayak

Nikhal Nayak has mixed feelings about Donald Trump as a person and as a presidential candidate.

But when it comes to Mike Pence, the Cummins Inc. engineer already has made up his mind.

“He’s a nice guy you can approach who is kind to the people,” he said. “Not just the big shots, but the common man, too.”

When compared to Trump’s aggressive style, the Indiana governor’s calm demeanor provides GOP voters with a more balanced ticket, Nayak said.

“I would support Mike Pence for the nomination any day,” Nayak said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.