Indiana Gov. Mike Pence takes to the podium tonight at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as the party’s nominee for vice president.

The first-term governor, who agreed last week to be presidential nominee Donald Trump’s running mate, will be the keynote speaker for the convention’s third day, which opens at 7 p.m.

One of the 57 Indiana delegates participating in the convention predicts Pence, the 57-year-old Columbus native, will “knock it out of the park,” sending pride rippling through the Hoosier representatives in Cleveland.

Delegate Denise Pence of Columbus, who made that prediction, is attending her first national convention and will watch her brother-in-law speak to the convention tonight — with a specific time not yet announced.

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Denise Pence, who owns Exit 76 Antique Mall in Edinburgh with her husband, oldest Pence brother Greg, said she doesn’t know how she will feel when Mike Pence takes the convention stage for his speech or when he accepts the nomination with Trump.

“Looking around and seeing all the Trump-Pence signs is mind-blowing to me,” she said in a telephone interview from the convention Tuesday.

So far, she was particularly impressed with Trump’s dramatic entrance to the convention Monday night to introduce his wife Melania, and also with Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke’s speech, which emphasized that “Blue lives matter” — referring to the shooting deaths of eight police officers across the nation in the past two weeks.

“Trump is a law-and-order candidate,” she said, describing Monday’s speakers as focusing on the important message of safety for Americans.

She described the Pence family and herself as “beyond happy” about Trump picking Mike Pence as his running mate.

Denise Pence, who is a member of the Bartholomew County Visitor Information and Promotion Commission, said she has known her brother-in-law governor for about 40 years.

“Mr. Trump chose very wisely,” she said.

Indiana delegates who are not related to the vice presidential nominee agreed with that assessment.

“I was thrilled when (Trump) brought Gov. Pence on board,” delegate Bill Davis of Fort Wayne said. “I think Pence will make a great vice president that will bring a lot of conservative ideas to Trump and his presidency.”

Davis said all Hoosier delegates will firmly stand behind the Trump-Pence ticket and none of them will attempt to split the party.

Trump won all 57 of the Indiana delegates in May’s primary.

William Springer of Sullivan hopes the addition of Pence to the Trump campaign will help bring Republicans together.

“(Trump) picked a good choice when he chose Mike Pence,” Springer said. “Pence is a good, Christian, right-winged person and he will hopefully bring that unity to the Republican Party.”

Adrianna Pitrelli of contributed to this report.

Speaking tonight

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will speak tonight on the third day of the Republican National Convention, with today’s theme “Make America First Again.”

Other speakers scheduled tonight include:

  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas
  • Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisconsin
  • Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida
  • Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Speaker of the House

More on Mike Pence online

Read biographical information and other background on Columbus native Mike Pence at

At the top right of the home page, type in “Mike Pence” next to the search tool.

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