Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has eight days to announce his vice presidential running mate if he wants Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to assume the position.
Now, Hoosiers are questioning whether Pence would accept Trump’s invitation for the vacant spot, if offered.
At a campaign stop at Greek’s Pizzeria & Tapp Room in Franklin Thursday, Pence reaffirmed that nothing has been offered by Trump, nor has anything been accepted.
“I can’t tell you how honored we are as a family to be considered at that level, but my focus really is Indiana right now,” Pence said. “I’ve come to no conclusion about what decision we would make, but again we’re very humbled, very honored by the attention being paid to our state and to our efforts.”
The campaign visit followed a recent weekend trip to New Jersey where Pence and his wife met with Trump.
Pence said Thursday that he strongly advocates for Trump’s race to the White House, and urged all Republicans “to get on board.”
“I just know we need new leadership in the White House,” Pence said. “We need new leadership in Washington D.C. that will get the burden of government off the backs of businesses and allow communities like Franklin and states like Indiana to achieve even greater levels of success than we’ve achieved already.”
Donald Peek, of Franklin, worked with Pence on veterans’ issues during the 2016 legislative session and said he doesn’t want to see him take the vice presidential nomination.
“I would like to see him stay here, rather than going there,” Peek said. “I’m worried about him going [to Washington D.C.] because if something happens and then that does not materialize, then he’s given up the governorship.”
The Indiana Democratic Party spoke differently in a statement released Thursday, calling the Indiana governor “unpopular” with both state Democrats and Republicans.
“Mike Pence’s time in office has been so toxic that Hoosier Republicans are publicly begging Donald Trump to save their party,” said Drew Anderson, Indiana Democratic Party’s communications director, in a press release.
Anderson said it was Pence’s social agenda, which included “RFRA (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act), one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, and a ban on Syrian refugees” that led Indiana Republicans to make this decision.
“To sum it up, Hoosiers are tired of their governor embarrassing the state as they are a step behind everyone else,” Anderson said in a press release.
If Pence were to accept an offer from Trump, Indiana Republicans would have 30 days to select a new gubernatorial nominee for the November election.
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R- Fort Wayne, and U.S Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indiana, are three names being mentioned for the Republican gubernatorial nominee.
Trump is scheduled to be back in Indianapolis on July 12 for a private fundraiser.