Indiana Governor Mike Pence Confirmed To Be Donald Trump VP Pick Ahead Of Official Announcement On Friday [Video]

According to the Indy Star, Indiana Governor Mike Pence won’t be campaigning for governor this November because he has been chosen by Donald Trump as VP for the GOP in the 2016 presidential election. It has been speculated that the controversial conservative governor would be Trump’s pick for VP, and several sources have now confirmed that Trump will announce on Friday that Mike Pence will be his running mate. Trump will make a formal announcement on Friday, July 15 at 11 a.m. in Manhattan, while Trump’s presidential campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, says that a decision has not been made for a VP candidate at this time.

The New York Post also confirmed that Mike Pence would be Donald Trump’s running mate, according to their source, Roll Call. The New York Post said that Pence would bring “the kind of legislative experience that Trump has said would be a key factor in his VP pick.” With that being said, Trump had told the Post last week that “chemistry” between himself and his running mate would be the most important factor of choosing a candidate. Trump even spent time with Pence this past week, attending a fundraiser and campaign rally in Indiana, and took his family to Pence’s residence for breakfast.

Roll Call also said that Governor Pence reportedly impressed Trump with his calm demeanor, his experience on Capitol Hill, and his role as Indiana governor. Pence also went golfing with Trump at the presidential candidate’s golf resort in New Jersey earlier this month, and Trump has spent time with Pence at the Indiana governor’s mansion this week. While Trump and Pence may have chemistry after spending time with each other, the Indiana governor’s stances on some of the presidential candidate’s views are the polar opposite, including his views on trade, abortion, and banning Muslim immigrants.

Slate magazine listed a few views that Mike Pence and Donald Trump differ on, including Obama’s trade deal with the Trans-Pacific Partnership last month. Pence has also said that Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from immigrating to the U.S. was “offensive and unconstitutional,” he disagrees with Trump that women should be punished for having abortions, and thinks that Trump’s comments about federal judge and fellow Indianian Gonzalo Curiel being biased because “he’s a Mexican” were inappropriate. Other issues where Pence disagrees with Trump are Hussein’s treatment of Iraqi people and President Obama’s residence of birth.

Pence has also had his own share of controversy. The Indiana governor drew fire last year in March when he passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Law in Indiana. The law, which was passed three months ahead of the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage, was designed to protect businesses and entities from being sued for refusing service to anyone based on the religious views of the establishment owners.

Once Trump announces Pence is his VP pick, the Indiana GOP party will launch into a scramble to find a new candidate for governor to run against Democratic candidate John Gregg in November. This will be the first time in Indiana’s history that the Indiana Republican State Committee will determine a GOP candidate for governor. Once Pence officially withdraws his candidacy to run for governor, the committee will have 30 days to choose his replacement on the ballot. After the committee determines who will be vying for the nomination, it must give a 10-day notice before voting. At the earliest, the process would conclude in late July.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita have already declared that they intend to run for governor of Indiana. Other candidates may include Indiana Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb and U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks of Carmel, Indiana, although Holcomb has not publicly declared that he will seek the office. This change in candidacy comes as Mike Pence is facing a tight race against Gregg; the most recent poll in May showed Pence leading Gregg by only 4 percent. When the 4-percent margin of error is factored in, that means they were virtually tied. Pence defeated Gregg in 2012 by only 3 percent of the votes.

[Photos by Michael Conroy & David Zalubowski/AP Images]