COLUMBUS, Ind. – Indiana Governor Mike Pence grew up in Columbus. Now, his hometown is reacting to the news that he’ll be number two on Donald Trump’s presidential ticket.
We found mixed opinions abound about Pence in the city just shy of 45,000 people.
“It’s on the front page of the paper. A lot of my friends on Facebook are posting things like, 'Well at least Mike Pence will be out of Indiana,'” said Rachel Akemon, of Columbus.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Teresa Moore, “Good for us. Good for him.”
Some residents aren’t surprised he got the nod.
“I knew an assertive and aggressive guy like Trump would definitely choose somebody who was not afraid to speak their mind,” said Jeremiah Gonzalez, a Columbus native. “Who do you know was standing in line, it was our very own Mike Pence.”
Others don’t share that perspective.
“I don’t think he’s going to be successful,” said Michael Fischer, a Columbus native. “I think he will fail miserably as a vice-presidential candidate.”
Pence spent more than a decade in Congress before being elected as Indiana’s governor.
It’s his time as head of the state that people said Friday night sticks out to them the most. That includes the RFRA controversy from 2015, where Pence signed a measure into law presumed as discriminatory against the LGBT community. It spurred an Indiana boycott amid national headlines and later, a fix.
While supportive of Pence’s pursuits, Teresa Moore said she believes RFRA damaged Pence’s stock. “I think that hurt. I think that hurt him a lot,” she said.
Most in Columbus said they’re interested to see what happens and if Pence will be able to go all the way with a Republican presidential candidate like Trump, who is far from predictable.
“I’m kind of surprised that Mr.Trump chose him. I think he’s a good solid choice for him,” said Melinda Clark,
Pence’s spokesperson said he has no plans of resigning as governor while campaigning for the vice-presidential seat, but that spokesperson did not offer immediate details on how he will continue to govern while on the campaign trail.
Friday night the Trump campaign released details of a "Welcome Home Rally " for Governor Pence. It will be held at the Indianapolis Executive Airport in Zionsville at 5 p.m. on Saturday.