Pence sibling courted for Republican congressional run

AP News
|
Posted: Jun 08, 2017 4:01 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — One of Mike Pence's older brothers is being courted as a possible Republican candidate for the same eastern Indiana congressional seat that the vice president and former governor of the state represented for 12 years.

Greg Pence, who once ran the family's now-bankrupt chain of Tobacco Road convenience stores, says he has been courted to run for the district, which covers a broad swath of central and southeastern Indiana, including Muncie and Columbus, The Indianapolis Star reports (http://indy.st/2sjzEPL ).

One of six siblings, Greg Pence and his wife, Denise, now own two antique malls. Denise Pence was also a delegate to the Republican National Convention last summer.

Were he to pursue the seat, Greg Pence would almost certainly have strong support from the Indiana Republican Party. But it remains to be seen if he is actually interested in the position, which is currently held by Republican Rep. Luke Messer, who is weighing a run for Senate.

Bob Grand, a major Republican fundraiser and powerbroker in Indiana politics, says it's premature to talk about Greg Pence running.

"From my vantage point we don't have an opening yet," Grand told The Associated Press. "I think all this would be a discussion point when Luke decides, which I hope he does, to run for the Senate."

Both Grand and Greg Pence serve on a finance committee Messer formed in preparation for a likely Senate run.

Should Messer give up his current seat, Greg Pence would be a natural choice, said Grand, who was recently photographed flying aboard the vice president's plane, Airforce Two.

"He's a community leader, he's been involved in this community, he's obviously got good name ID. I think all those things are positive," said Grand.

Greg Pence said he is focused on supporting Messer as the congressman contemplates a big decision.

"The funny thing is I'm getting asked that a lot," Greg Pence told The Star. "And right now the only thing I'm focused on is helping Luke and Jennifer (Messer) make a big decision on whether or not they should run (for Senate)."