Columbus-born Mike Pence is slated to become the 48th vice president of the United States on Friday. Here’s his path to the White House.
- Mike Pence photos: His wedding, communion and more.
- Mike Pence’s high school years at Columbus North.
- Getting to know the Pence family through social media posts.
Born on June 7 to Ed and Nancy Pence at Bartholomew County Hospital. He is named for his maternal grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, a Chicago bus driver who came to the United States from Ireland through Ellis Island.
Competing against sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, the All Saints Catholic School fifth-grader won an oratorical contest sponsored by the Columbus Optimist Club.
Graduated from Columbus North High School. In high school he served as president of the senior class, was a member of the speech team, competed in wrestling and was on the staff of the school newspaper, The Triangle. He won the American Legion’s Indiana oratorical contest and was awarded the George Washington Honor Medal for a speech he delivered before the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
Graduated from Hanover College, where he was the chapter president of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. It was at Hanover that he experienced a spiritual awakening that would guide him through his later private life and public career.
Married Indianapolis native Karen Batten.
Graduated from Indiana University School of Law. Entered practice in Indianapolis.
Made his first bid for congressional office, although his father, Ed Pence, and other family members were initially opposed to the plan. After the family came around to his decision, he won the Republican Party’s nomination for the 2nd District congressional seat and lost narrowly to longtime Democratic incumbent Rep. Phil Sharp.
Ran again for the 2nd District seat but was defeated by Sharp by a much wider margin following a bitter campaign. Pence later apologized for the negative attacks that defined the contest.
Began a new career working with the Indiana Policy Review. Later he would enter into private practice as an attorney. He resumed a speaking career and hosted a radio show at a small station near Muncie. From there he moved into the Indianapolis media market as a Christian conservative talk show host. The three-hour program was carried on more than a dozen stations around the state and had an estimated audience of more than 200,000.
Decided to re-enter politics with another congressional bid, this time a successful one. In the following years he rose through the ranks of the Republican Congressional Caucus.
Announced he would be a candidate for the highest post in the Republican Party’s congressional leadership, minority leader. He was defeated by Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Elected Republican Conference chairman, the third-ranking leadership position. He was listed by several political commentators as one of a dozen or so potential candidates for president.
Conservative columnist Bill Kristol urged that he run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Evan Bayh. He declined the opportunity. He was named the top choice for president in a straw poll conducted at the Value Voters Summit.
In January he announced he would not seek his party’s presidential nomination. In May he announced he would run for governor of Indiana, hoping to succeed two-term Republican Mitch Daniels, who would become president of Purdue University.
Pence elected governor on Nov. 6, defeating Democrat John Gregg in November general election. Pence received 49.6 percent of the popular vote to Gregg’s 46.4 percent. Libertarian Rupert Boneham got 4 percent. Pence received 1,268,076 votes to Gregg’s 1,187,508, a margin of 80,568 votes.
MAY: Pence kicked off his Indy 500-theme “Start Your Engines” campaign for re-election as Indiana governor with a series of appearances beginning May 11 at the Dallara IndyCar factory in Speedway. In subsequent days, the tour would span all areas of the state — including La Porte to the north, Evansville to the southwest and Fort Wayne to the northeast. It also included a May 13 stop in his hometown of Columbus, where Pence was welcomed by more than 200 people at the Hackman farm southeast of Columbus, home of Bartholomew County GOP chairwoman Barb Hackman, who was among those who greeted the governor by his first name.
JULY 2 to 3: Pence meets with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a weekend visit, among a series of meetings Trump scheduled with Republican Party leaders, fueling speculation that the Indiana governor could be a vice presidential candidate.
JULY 11: Pence made his annual appearance at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair in Columbus, where he spent about 90 minutes in his hometown and greeted friends and other fair visitors. He deflected questions about the possibility of being Trump’s running mate. “I’m focused on the Hoosier state, on governing in Indiana … as I’m doing tonight, my focus is on earning re-election as governor of this great state.”
JULY 12: Pence and Trump appeared at a private fundraiser at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis, with tickets prices ranging from $2,700 to $250,000. Later that night, Pence introduced Trump during a rally in Westfield, an Indianapolis suburb, where thousands of Trump supporters turned out to hear him speak. During his 5-minute introduction, Pence said of the Republican nominee: “Donald Trump gets it. Donald Trump hears the voice of the American people. He’s worked on Wall Street, but he’s never turned his back on Main Street … This is the type of no-nonsense leadership Donald J. Trump will bring to the White House.”
JULY 13: Trump, his children and key staffers met with Mike and Karen Pence at the governor’s mansion, raising speculation that he is a finalist for vice president.
JULY 15: At 10:54 a.m., Trump announces on Twitter: “I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.” Pence replies on Twitter, “Honored to join @realDonaldTrump and work to make America great again.” Since candidates cannot run for two positions in the same election, a representative for Pence files paperwork with state election officials about an hour before a noon deadline to remove his name as a candidate for Indiana governor.
NOV. 8: Republicans Trump and Pence, collecting a majority of electoral college votes — 304 compared to 227 for Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine — win the offices of president and vice president of the United States.
JAN. 9: Pence attends the inauguration of his gubernatorial successor, Republican Eric Holcomb, and departs with his family for Washington, D.C.
FRIDAY: In a ceremony expected to start at noon, Trump will be sworn in as the nation’s 45th president and Pence as the nation’s 48th vice president.