Current Indiana Governor Mike Pence could see a new boost to his presidential ambitions if the state legislature passes a bill put up by Republican state Senator Mike Delph. The proposed bill would allow the governor to run for both governor and President at the same time in 2016. Currently, if the governor wanted to run for president he’d have to pick that office over the governor slot.
Indiana has a history of making these allowances for its federal representatives. An earlier bill allows Indiana’s Senators to run for both their federal Senate seats and president at the same time. The move by Senator Delph is relatively novel, several states require candidates to pick which race they intend to run for – state or federal. Pence would also have the unusual role of attempting to look impartial while signing a bill brought by a member of his own party that would effectively give the governor a competitive advantage.
“I think it’s good for the state of Indiana to have a sitting governor in the national conversation and because of that I think it’s in our interest to make the obstacles and roadblocks for Pence as minimal as possible,” Delph told The Indianapolis Star, which first brought the story.
As yet, Pence has not officially announced his intentions to run for the presidency in 2016, but has maintained a heightened public profile including international visits, which have sparked speculation about his ultimate ambitions.
The proposal isn’t limited to Pence himself, and would offer the same allowances to candidates of both parties. If it passes, and is signed, the bill will be an example for other political activists and supporters who may be pushing for their governors to run for national office. However, the idea could also present a problem for Indiana and other states once the candidate wins the federal side of the ticket. At that juncture, local taxpayers will have paid for and lived through an essentially worthless state campaign and will have to do it again. We can’t imagine taxpayers willingly being on board for adding a multiplier to the number of political ads they are confronted with in a cycle, or paying for a second election to supplement the first. Apart from helping ambitious candidates and Super PACs we’re hard pressed to see the benefit Senator Delph does. Watch this space.