Gov. Mike Pence is dropping his re-election bid in Indiana to become Donald Trump’s running mate.
IndyStar has confirmed that Trump plans to announce Pence as his selection for vice president, ending a weeks-long vice presidential casting call during which Trump vetted a handful of high-profile Republicans.
Trump’s national campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said “a decision has not been made.” A formal announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday in Manhattan.
The long-awaited decision upends the political landscape in Indiana and at least partially remakes the Trump campaign in Pence’s image.
In Pence, Trump has added a social conservative who GOP strategists say will reassure rank-and-file Republicans that Trump can be trusted to pursue their interests. Veteran political observers say Pence, a former U.S. House member and chairman of the House Republican Conference, will provide a disciplined counter to Trump’s improvisational campaign style. Pence also brings fundraising power and credibility on a wide range of policy issues that are important to conservatives.
Pence is set to officially become the vice presidential nominee during the Republican National Convention, which starts July 18 in Cleveland. He could become the first vice president from Indiana since Dan Quayle took office in 1989 under George H.W. Bush.
Pence’s departure for national politics sets up a scramble among Indiana Republicans to determine who will replace Pence to run against Democratic challenger John Gregg in the November gubernatorial election.