Who Could Replace Mike Pence As Republican Gubernatorial Candidate?
These four office holders have been speculated as potential Indiana gubernatorial candidates: Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, Congressman Todd Rokita, Congresswoman Susan Brooks, and Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb.
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – If reports turn out to be accurate in stating that Mike Pence will become Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate, the Indiana Republican Party must pick a new candidate for governor.
Speculation on potential Pence replacements began churning as soon as Pence’s name began appearing on Trump’s short list a couple weeks ago.
If Pence files to pull out of the gubernatorial race by a noon Friday deadline, Republicans will have 30 days to decide on a new candidate to take on Democrat John Gregg. It would be the first time in Indiana’s history that the 22-member Republican State Committee will decide a gubernatorial candidate.
A number of Republican lawmakers, including Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, 4th District Congressman Todd Rokita, 5th District Congresswoman Susan Brooks and Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb are all jumping into the race.
In a statement Thursday, Indiana 6th District Congressman Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville) did not express any interest in running for governor.
“We, of course, in Indiana now have to pick his successor. It’s important that we have a process of integrity and a decision on the merits. I trust our State Committee will rise to the challenge. Every name that has been mentioned as a potential replacement is a personal friend. I know Hoosiers will be in good hands no matter who is chosen as the nominee,” said Messer.
Former governor and Purdue University president Mitch Daniels was also rumored as potentially running for a third term, but he said Thursday he won’t present himself as a gubernatorial candidate.
Donald Trump postponed his vice presidential announcement that was scheduled for Friday in New York following Thursday’s terror attack in Nice, France. That puts Pence in an awkward situation as he must file to have his name removed as a gubernatorial candidate by noon Friday.
Pence could potentially file to be removed. Then if he ends up not becoming the VP nominee, he could enter to be among those considered by the Republican State Committee to get back into the gubernatorial race.