After weeks of speculation, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning that he has chosen Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2016
Trump had planned to hold a press conference Friday morning, but he canceled that after a deadly attack in France. He has now scheduled a news conference for Saturday at 11 a.m.
Pence quote-tweeted Trump’s announcement, adding that he is “honored” to join the ticket and “work to make America great again.”
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) July 15, 2016
Several sources and news organizations including NPR reported Pence was Trump’s pick throughout the day on Thursday. But in an interview with Fox News that night Trump said he had not “made my final, final decision.”
Pence initially endorsed Ted Cruz back in May but backed Trump after the candidate won his home state of Indiana.
Pence brings political experience Trump has said he’s looking for to help him navigate Washington. And, as NPR’s Jessica Taylor noted, 57-year-old Pence will “give Trump a younger, conservative favorite to help heal the rift within the Republican Party and ease the minds of many still skeptical of the presumptive presidential nominee.”
In a statement, Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called Pence “a strong conservative reformer.”
Pence was a House member for 12 years and was elected governor in 2012. Prior to entering public service, he was a talk radio and TV host.
In 2015, he signed into law a controversial religious freedom bill, which drew widespread backlash from LGBT rights supporters.
Pence is expected to withdraw his name from the Indiana governor’s race Friday, which he must do by noon for the state party to be able to put forth another nominee.
Here’s are some more facts about Pence:
Age: 57 (born June 7, 1959, in Columbus, Ind.)
Current residence: Columbus, Ind.
Education: 1981, Hanover College, B.A.; 1986, Indiana University, J.D.
Family: Married to Karen Pence, 3 children
- After losing campaigns for Congress in 1988 and 1990, he wrote “Confessions of a Negative Campaigner,” where he apologized for running negative ads against his opponent, Rep. Phillip Sharp.
- Before being elected to Congress in 2000, was president of a conservative think tank, the Indiana Policy Review Foundation. He also hosted a conservative syndicated radio show and a Sunday political TV show in Indianapolis.
- After Republicans lost the House in 2006, he mounted a failed challenge to John Boehner as the House GOP leader; Boehner later supported him to become Republican Conference chairman in 2008.
Barbara Sprunt and Jessica Taylor contributed to this report.