Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump will name Indiana governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate on Friday, Roll Call news site reported, a choice that would help the New York businessman appeal to conservatives and could boost his chances in a competitive state.
Roll Call on Thursday cited an unidentified Republican with direct knowledge of the decision to choose Pence, 57, a former US congressman. Reuters has not confirmed the report.
The two Republicans spent time this month testing their chemistry at Trump’s golf course in New Jersey and at the governor’s residence in Indiana. Trump was impressed with Pence’s calm manner and his experience on Capitol Hill and as governor, the news outlet reported.
Pence had backed a Trump rival, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, in April before the Indiana primary, but he praised the New York businessman and said he would work on behalf of the eventual Republican nominee. Trump won Indiana anyway, prompting Cruz to drop out of the party race to be the nominee for the Nov. 8 presidential election.
Pence had considered running for president himself in 2016 before deciding to run for re-election as governor. Conservatives had urged him to seek the White House, but missteps in 2015 related to an Indiana law seen as anti-gay hurt his national profile.
This year, he was the target of a mocking social media campaign by women outraged at a law he signed creating new restrictions on abortions. Feeling that the law invaded their privacy, women responded by calling Pence’s office to describe their menstrual periods or tweeting similar messages.
Pence ran unsuccessfully for Congress twice before he was elected to the House of Representatives in 2000, where he was chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservatives.