A well-intended distraction

Gov. Mike Pence addresses his plans for the 2015 session. Photo by Caitlin Soard, TheStatehouseFile

By Adam Lee

Gov. Mike Pence said Tuesday that a bill meant to allow him to run for both president and governor in the 2016 election is a “well-intentioned distraction.”

Senate Bill 200, authored by Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, would eliminate a ban on candidates running simultaneously for a state and federal elected office.

The governor said that the bill was not his focus and that the first time he heard about it was when he read about it in the newspaper.

Instead Pence said that his focus remains on the “future of the people of Indiana” as well as the 2015 session of the General Assembly, which began Tuesday.

Indiana Democratic Chairman John Zody said that Pence’s refusal to clearly state if he supports the bill is not good enough. Zody said in a statement Tuesday that Pence is letting others take actions for him and is simply trying to improve his position for a presidential run.

“He appears willing to let others do his dirty work for him and refuses to get his hands dirty when it comes to his presidential ambitions or running state government. It’s been quite clear during his time in office that Gov. Pence will listen to the tea party before Hoosiers – or even legislators from his own party – and do what he thinks will win him votes in the Republican presidential primary.”

Pence has said he won’t make an announcement about running for president until after the legislature adjourns at the end of April. He has been widely mentioned as a possible candidate and has done little to quell the rumors. In the past year, he has traveled to the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire and has made international trips, including one last month to Israel.

Adam Lee is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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