Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate Friday. Pence, a Christian Conservative with longstanding ties to the Tea Party, isn’t the most recognizable choice for Trump, although he has a long career in politics. Before becoming Indiana’s governor, Pence served in Congress for twelve years.
Here’s everything you should know about Trump's pick:
He Endorsed Ted Cruz
Pence endorsed Trump’s opponent, Ted Cruz, in the lead-up to Indiana’s June primary. During a radio appearance on Indianapolis’ WIBC in May, Pence voiced his support for the Texas senator.
“I see Ted Cruz as a principled conservative who has dedicated his career to advocating the Reagan agenda,” Pence said. “And I’m pleased to support him."
He’s Up For Re-Election
Pence is locked in a tough reelection bid against Democrat John Gregg in November. According to a recent Indianapolis Star poll, Pence is only leading by a few points. The Republican governor beat out Gregg in the 2012 Indiana gubernatorial election by a slim margin.
Pence cannot legally run for vice president and governor at the same time, and faces a deadline to withdraw from the gubernatorial race on Friday.
He Was at the Center of Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” Debate
Pence faced sharp criticism last year after signing a controversial “religious freedom” bill that many believed would allow for discrimination against the LGBTQ community.
Following widespread condemnation, Pence agreed to amend the law to clarify its intent.
His Name Has Been Floated as a Presidential Candidate
Pence’s name was floated in 2008 and 2012 as a potential presidential candidate.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Pence received the majority of votes in a straw poll at the 2010 Values Voter Summit, a meeting of conservative activists.
He Called Himself “Rush Limbaugh on Decaf”
As a conservative talk-radio host in the 1990s, Pence described himself as “Rush Limbaugh on decaf,” according to the Indianapolis Star.
The governor hosted The Mike Pence Show from 1995 to 1999. The show was ultimately syndicated on 18 stations throughout Indiana, including WIBC in Indianapolis.