Mike Pence accepts Donald Trump’s VP offer, bows out of gubernatorial race

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FILE PHOTO - Gov. Mike Pence meets Donald Trump ahead of the Indiana primary in May 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mike Pence is the pick.

Donald Trump made the announcement via Twitter.

Pence filed paperwork Friday morning to withdraw from the gubernatorial race so he can become Donald Trump’s running mate in the presidential race. While many reports pegged Pence as Trump’s final choice, the presumptive Republican nominee had been cagey about his selection. Trump said he would hold a news conference with Pence on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Originally, Trump planned to introduce Pence, who flew from Indianapolis to New Jersey Thursday, during an event in New York Friday morning. Trump later canceled that event following the terror attack in France that killed more than 80 people.

Under state law, Pence couldn’t run for governor and vice president. He faced a noon deadline to submit his paperwork to bow out of the race.

Shortly after the announcement, reaction came swiftly from the campaign of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton:

John Zody, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, released a statement on Pence’s selection:

“Mike Pence has spent the past three years focused only on his personal ambition. He has embarrassed Hoosiers, signed divisive and discriminatory legislation into law, and alienated the business community –costing our state money in the process. Unfortunately, that qualifies him as a compatible running mate for Donald Trump, who is out only for himself and running one of the most toxic presidential campaigns in history.

“As he crisscrosses the country promoting Donald Trump, Mike Pence will need to account for his failed record as our governor. This includes the discriminatory RFRA that has cost our economy over $60 million, an anti-abortion law with some of the most outrageous restrictions in the country, and a lagging state economy that is underperforming the national average and our closest neighboring states.”

Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb filed paperwork to enter the governor’s race. He also released a statement supporting Pence’s emergence as Trump’s vice presidential pick:

“Donald Trump has selected as his running mate a man of unimpeachable integrity, broad experience and a deep love of this country.  Governor Mike Pence’s record of leadership in balancing budgets and supporting a business climate where ingenuity can flourish will be invaluable and needed assets to the country. The governor’s selection also reflects well on the tremendous successes Indiana has achieved over the last 12 years and the Trump/Pence Administration will be great partners as we continue to move Indiana forward.”

Sen. Dan Coats, whose Senate seat is up for grabs, also released a statement in support of Pence:

“Mike Pence is a great choice and will make an excellent vice president.

“Governor Pence is a proven leader with both executive and legislative experience. As Indiana’s governor, he has continued our state’s remarkable economic progress and pushed for more effective, efficient government. He’s served in leadership in Congress and understands how the federal government operates. Governor Pence’s communications skills, long history as a conservative leader and Midwestern common-sense will be an asset to the Trump campaign.

“Most importantly, Mike and Karen are people of integrity with hearts for public service. I congratulate both of them on this high honor.”

Trump’s campaign also released a short video Friday featuring Pence:

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