Indiana Governor Mike Pence might be the next Vice President of the United States. The VP nomination is reportedly down to Mike Pence, Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich, and according to The New York Times, all signs are pointing towards Pence. We will find out for sure when Trump makes his formal announcement, which will come next time in the next few days.
So who exactly is Mike Pence, the man who could become the next vice president of the United States? Born in Columbus, Indiana, Pence has a background in law and in talk radio, hosting a political talk show in Indiana from 1995 to 1999. His political career began in 2001, when he was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2012, he became Indiana’s governor when he defeated his Democratic opponent John Gregg.
Pence has been married for over 30 years, and he has three children, one boy and two girls. Here’s everything you need to know about Governor Pence’s wife and kids.
1. His Family Has Been Heavily Involved in His Political Life
Governor Pence’s wife and kids have not been passive players in his political career. Instead, they’ve been rather hands on, going with him from campaign stop to campaign stop, handing out flyers, making calls, and helping him get elected governor of Indiana.
Still, the kids say that their lives haven’t been anything too abnormal, despite the fact that their father is a famous politician.
“Frankly, we’ve had a pretty normal childhood,” Mike Pence’s son Michael said. “We’ve seen some cool things in DC and now Indiana, but it’s been pretty normal until the last six months.”
The governor also said that keeping his family close together has been the most important accomplishment of his career.
“This has always been a family affair for us, from the very first campaign headed out to county fairs, while Karen and I would be shaking hands at the Republican tent, the kids would be standing out in front of the tent, handing out flyers and shaking hands,” he said.
2. His Wife Is a Former School Teacher
Mike Pence’s wife is Karen Pence, whom he married in 1985. Karen worked as a school teacher for 25 years. She studied Elementary Education at Butler University, and as the first lady of Indiana, she made education one of her priorities; she frequently travels the state and visits schools, according to IN.gov. She also founded the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation with the goal of supporting youths and families around the state.
Karen is passionate about art as well, painting watercolors of homes and of historical buildings in her free time. One thing she isn’t a fan of is the spotlight that comes with being the wife of a governor, but Karen says she decided she simply had learn to get over this aspect of politics.
“You know, [former Indiana First Lady] Judy O’Bannon told me, ‘Just get over it. Just get over it,’ so I am taking her advice,” she said before Pence was sworn in as governor. “I am just going to get over it and realize the never four years we are going to be in the public eye and we want to make the most of it.”
3. His Son Is a Marine Corps Officer
Pence’s oldest son is Michael Pence, who attended Purdue University in Indiana and studied to be a pilot, according to WTHR.
After graduating from Purdue, Pence decided to join the Marines, and in 2015 he became a second lieutenant, The Marine Corps Times reports. Governor Pence and his wife, Karen, attended a ceremony in Quantico at the time, during which their son was officially commissioned.
“Karen and I are just very proud of our son and what he’s accomplished,” Gov. Pence said. “So with lots of Kleenex nearby, I will be on the East Coast welcoming Second Lieutenant Michael J. Pence into the service of this country.”
4. His Older Daughter is a Filmmaker
Mike Pence’s daughter is Charlotte Pence, who studied Digital Cinema and English at DePaul University, graduating in 2016. She created several documentaries during her time at the school.
Charlotte has worked as a freelance producer for WFYI, a media company in Indianapolis, Indiana. During her time at WFYI, she worked on the documentary Fleeced, a film about elderly people being targeted by scam companies. The documentary went on to win an Emmy award that year.
Pence is also an excellent writer, having published essays on websites like Thought Catalog. One from 2014 discusses her feeling of being looked down upon by young people her age because she believes in God.
“I’m okay with the fact that we can all agree to disagree – that we can all admit that there seems to be something unexplainable at work,” she writes. “…However, what I cannot accept is the warped reality in which we all seem to be newly accustomed to living. We seem all too comfortable with making the grand assumption that ‘nobody believes in God, so let’s all just not talk about it.’”
5. His Younger Daughter Is a Social Liberal
Governor Pence is a rather conservative guy, especially when it comes to social issues, as he has been a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage all throughout his political career. However, not every member of his family is in agreement with him on politics. His youngest daughter, Audrey Pence, describes herself as socially liberal, according to WTHR. Politically, she said she is independent and voted split-ticket during the first election in which she could participate.
However, her father does not scorn her for not seeing eye-to-eye with him. Rather, Audrey says that the governor is proud that she was able to form her own beliefs.
“Probably the person I get the most respect from is my dad on that and he has always…he tells me so many times, ‘I am proud of you for having your own opinions and looking into things,'” Audrey said.
Of course, she did vote for her father in his gubernatorial election.
“Yes, I voted for him. I did vote for him,” she said. “He proved himself to me.”