Politico’s Adam Wren relays that Indiana political watchers have “widely gossiped” about the idea that Republican Rep. Greg Pence, who is Mike Pence’s older brother, could forgo a reelection campaign in 2024 and instead serve as Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch’s running mate as she seeks the governorship. Pence himself doesn’t appear to have said anything publicly about the idea he might give up his safely red 6th District to run for lieutenant governor.
To complicate things, the nominee for lieutenant governor of Indiana is chosen by party delegates rather than primary voters or the candidate for governor. Crouch herself also has a tough primary ahead of her against Sen. Mike Braun and wealthy businessman Eric Doden as she seeks to succeed termed-out Gov. Eric Holcomb, so she may not be in a position to urge delegates next year to select Pence or anyone else as her running mate. The eventual nominees for governor and lieutenant governor will run together as a ticket in the general election.
It’s possible, though, that Pence would hedge his bets and seek reelection to the House while holding out hope he’ll be nominated for lieutenant governor later. Indeed, then-Gov. Mike Pence won his 2016 primary for another term only to withdraw his name right ahead of the July deadline when Donald Trump chose him to be his own running mate: Indiana party leaders soon selected Holcomb to be their new nominee for governor.
This potential career switch isn’t the only way that Greg Pence has made news in the last few days. While Pence backed his colleague Jim Banks’ Senate bid on Tuesday, Wren says he’s since retracted his endorsement over what his allies call “unwarranted attacks” against former Gov. Mitch Daniels from both Donald Trump Jr. and the Club for Growth. Daniels himself hasn’t yet decided whether or not to run for the Senate seat that Braun is giving up to campaign for governor.
P.S. Pence’s former Democratic colleague, New York’s Antonio Delgado, last year did leave the lower chamber to become his state’s lieutenant governor, though the circumstances were different. Gov. Kathy Hochul appointed Delgado, who was facing a tough campaign, to become her second-in-command after her first choice, Brian Benjamin, resigned after being arrested on bribery charges. Delgado went on to win his primary and win a full term along with Hochul.
We've got a special double-barreled, two-guest show for you on this week's episode of The Downballot! First up is Tiffany Muller, the president of End Citizens United, who discusses her group's efforts to roll back the corrupting effects of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision as we hit the ruling's 13th anniversary. Muller tells us about ECU's short- and long-term plans to enact serious campaign finance reform; how the organization has expanded into the broader voting rights arena in recent years; and research showing the surprising connection many voters drew between the GOP's attacks on democracy and their war against abortion rights.
Then we're joined by law professor Quinn Yeargain to gape slack-jawed at the astonishing setback Gov. Kathy Hochul experienced in the state capitol on Wednesday when a Democratic-led Senate committee rejected her conservative pick to lead New York's top court. Yeargain explains why Hochul's threatened lawsuit to force the legislature to hold a full floor vote on Hector LaSalle defies 250 years of precedent and what will happen if she eventually retreats—as she manifestly should.