Republican Mike Pence of Indiana has announced he is not running for President in 2012, and is instead considering the possibility of running for governor of his home state.
Pence is said to have been concerned about raising the funds necessary for a presidential bid, and conscious of the difficulty of running from the House. Jim Geraghty of National Review has heard Pence was also aggressively recruited by Rick Perry of the Republican Governor’s Association.
In a letter to constituents today, Pence and his wife Karen said, “In the choice between seeking national office and serving Indiana in some capacity, we choose Indiana.” His decision about the governor’s race will be announced later this year. The current Indiana governor, Republican Mitch Daniels, will retire from the office due to term limits, and is said to be considering his own presidential run. His lieutenant governor, Republican Becky Skillman, has already declared she would not run to replace him, opening the way for Pence to do so.
Pence has already said he will step down from his role as Republican Conference Chairman, making another House run unlikely. He’s been giving some impressive speeches lately, and won a recent straw poll at the Values Voter Summit. He was a favorite of the pro-life community, and there were active movements under way to draft him for a presidential run. He says he will “follow his heart” back to Indiana. I hope whoever does run for the White House also knows how to follow their hearts, because the race will put both their spiritual clarity and endurance to the test.