Michael Richard "Mike" Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and attorney serving as the 50th Governor of Indiana. A Republican, Pence was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2000 and is the nominee of his party for Vice President of the United States in the 2016 presidential election.
Born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, Pence graduated from Hanover College and earned a law degree from the McKinney School of Law before entering private practice. After losing two bids for a U.S. congressional seat in 1988 and 1990, he became a conservative radio and television talk show host from 1994 to 1999. Pence successfully ran for Congress in 2000 and represented Indiana's 2nd congressional district and Indiana's 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013, rising to the position of chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011. Pence positioned himself as a principled ideologue and supporter of the Tea Party movement, noting he was a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.
In 2012 Pence was elected the 50th Governor of Indiana. He successfully advocated the largest tax cut in Indiana's history, pushed for more funding for education initiatives, and continued to grow the state's budget surplus. However, he also stirred several high profile controversies. After signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Pence encountered fierce resistance from moderate members of his party, the business community, and LGBT advocates. Ultimately, he was forced to neuter the law. Pence also came under fire for signing a bill that prohibits abortions if the reason for the procedure was the fetus' race, gender, or disability.