Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) will not run for president in 2016, according to the Indiana Republican Party chairman on Monday.
Indiana GOP chairman Jeff Cardwell said on the party’s website that Pence would seek re-election in 2016 and not run for president. Cardwell said Pence would formally announce his plans at the Indiana GOP’s Spring Dinner in June, according to the Indianapolis Star.
“Gov. Mike Pence is a conservative leader and dedicated public servant who always puts Indiana first,” Cardwell said in a statement. “We are excited the governor will formally announce his plans to seek re-election during our annual Spring Dinner, and we look forward to hearing his ideas for the future of our great state.”
Pence had been mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate but lately he had not been taking the other steps indicating serious plans to throw his hat into the ring.
2015 was a bumpy year for Pence. He fell into the national spotlight when he pushed a controversial religious freedom bill into law. That effort sparked a national backlash, including from criticism from top business executives. Pence eventually caved to pressure and moved to clarify the law. He later hired a public relations firm to repair the state’s image.
In April, former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg (D) announced his candidacy against Pence. Gregg, in a campaign video, hit Pence hard on the religious freedom law.
“But we’ve all seen the damage done in Indiana by Mike Pence. He’s managed to alienate the entire country with his extreme religious freedom law, a law that’s an embarrassment and wrong,” Gregg said. “Indiana’s lost millions of dollars in business. Companies are holding expansions and threatening to leave.”