News that her son had been chosen as a vice presidential running mate brought a few tears to the eyes of a Columbus mom.

In this case, the son was Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. His mom: Nancy Pence Fritsch of Columbus, Mike Pence’s hometown.

The first thoughts that came to her mind after following the national political coverage? “That’s wonderful.”

Fritsch, who was photographed walking hand in hand with her son just Monday at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair, said she got a little emotional while watching the news coverage unfold and realized her son was officially on the Republican ticket with presidential candidate Donald Trump.

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“I felt very strongly he would do it,” she said of her son’s decision to be Trump’s running mate.

Fritsch said she had not had a chance to talk to her son by Friday afternoon, saying, “I’m sure he’s very busy, but I’d love to.”

Fritsch described the Pence family reaction in Indiana and across the country as “ecstatic.”

“We’re all very close, and we’ve all been very involved in Michael’s life,” she said. “We are all very proud of him and wish the best for him. We have hoped and prayed this would come about.”

As far as she knows, there are no plans for family members to be in New York City today when Pence and Trump appear together as their party’s running mates.

Mike Pence’s sister-in-law, Denise Pence, is Bartholomew County’s delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and will see him there, Fritsch said.

It’s more likely that some of the family will see him when he returns to Indiana this weekend before heading to the convention in Ohio, she said.

Her son did introduce Fritsch to Trump at Tuesday’s nights rally in Westfield, but Fritsch said it was a brief encounter with her son saying, “and this is my mother,” as she met the presidential candidate.

Admitting that she hadn’t yet gotten her head around the idea of her son on a presidential ballot, she said the world seemed a little smaller now that her son has taken on this challenge.

Fritsch said she never considered aspirations for her politician son or any of his siblings.

“It’s not my hope for him, we never had hopes for them,” she said. “His father (Ed Sr.) used to say, ‘They all climb their own mountains.’”

And she didn’t have any advice for her son as he joins the Trump team, saying only that she is sure he is thrilled to be part of it.

In the meantime, she’s keeping the memory of walking through the county fair near Columbus with her son, holding his hand and greeting friends who had come out to wish them well.

“It’s always good to hold your son’s hand,” she said. “It’s something we’ve done since he was a little boy.”

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.