Voters in Indiana could send another Pence to Washington come November. Vice President Mike Pence's brother Greg is running for Congress, seeking to win the same seat once held by the VP himself.
It doesn't hurt to have family in high places. The vice president will be hosting a fundraising for the elder Pence at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, an event expected to raise $300,000 for Greg's congressional bid.
Pence is running in Indiana's 6th congressional district in the House of Representatives and will face off against a handful of Republican opponents on May 8 in a bid to win the primary and represent the GOP in the November election. On his election website, Pence touts his service in the Marine Corps, saying he "feels that same calling to serve his country" now by running for office.
Pence is described on his website as a "staunch supporter of the Trump-Pence agenda," and lists his "unwavering pro-life and pro-Second Amendment" outlook to back it up. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in theology and philosophy before getting a master's degree in business administration. According to his website, he and his wife, Denise, now run two antique malls.
According to The New Yorker, Pence had a nickname for his younger brother (and current vice president) when they were kids — "Bubbles." He said the name stuck because Mike was "chubby and funny."
That wasn't all Pence told The New Yorker about his younger brother. Commenting on Mike's failed 1990 congressional run, the elder Pence said his negative campaigning "upset a lot of his backers. It was partly because of immaturity, but he really was kind of full of sh*t.” During the campaign, a television ad depicted a man dressed in Middle Eastern attire implying Mike's opponent, Phil Sharp, was kowtowing to the interests of Arab-run oil companies. The younger Pence also came under criticism for using campaign funds to pay personal bills (he would later repay from his personal bank account).
According to Greg, his brother's next job — as a lawyer — didn't suit him too well. He said Mike was "completely unmotivated" by the size of his paycheck. But he still "had ambitions," and Greg said one of those drivers was "of course, popularity."
Signing up to be President Trump's running mate saved Mike from possible financial and political ruin, Greg told The New Yorker. After the family-owned Tobacco Road convenience stores were forced into bankruptcy on the elder Pence's watch in 2004, Mike's net worth took a huge hit. He'd taken out loans to put his daughters through college by the time Trump came knocking on his door.
As to his own political financial status, Pence the elder has thus far raised $565,115 since he announced his campaign in October. A sizable chunk of that fundraising has come from GOP members of the House and Trump donors.
House Leader Kevin McCarthy gave Pence's campaign the maximum amount legally allowed, $10,000 from his PAC. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, another big GOP name in Washington, also donated to Pence's fund.
Pence's main challenger for the Republican nod is Indiana businessman Jonathan Lamb. His campaign stash totals $582,638, but most of that is from a personal loan he took out to himself. Another potential contender, state Sen. Mike Crider, announced last year his intention to run for the House in Indiana's 6th Congressional District. However, he has since pulled out of the race due to his lackluster fundraising, telling the IndyStar, "People who would be quality candidates simply cannot participate because they cannot afford to self finance campaigns, and the political establishment locks down the remaining financial support.”
Indiana primary voters will decide in May if Pence will be the GOP nominee for the 6th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives, but the final verdict won't be in until the November midterm election.