Former Vice President Mike Pence will officially launch his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination next week in Iowa, joining a growing list of GOP hopefuls and running directly against his former boss.
Pence will hold a launch event in Des Moines on June 7, his 64th birthday, according to two people familiar with his plans who spoke on condition of anonymity to share details ahead of the official announcement. He is also scheduled to release a video message the morning of that day as part of his launch.
The decision to start his campaign in Iowa, rather than his home state of Indiana, underscores the importance that Pence's team places on the state where the primary elections begin. His team views Iowa as a crucial state in Pence's potential path to victory and hopes his message will resonate with evangelical Christian voters who make up a significant portion of the state's Republican electorate. Pence is an outspoken social conservative and strongly opposed to abortion rights, favoring a nationwide ban.
His advisers say he plans to campaign aggressively in the state, visiting each of the 99 counties ahead of next year's caucuses.
The campaign is expected to draw heavily on public gatherings and retail outlets — including several visits to the state's renowned Pizza Ranch restaurant chain — with the goal of projecting Pence's personality and background as he tries to step out of the former president's shadow. Donald Trump.
Although Pence is well known to Republican voters, aides believe he needs to reintroduce himself to voters who only know him from his time as Trump's vice president. Pence, who served for more than a decade in Congress and as governor of Indiana before becoming Trump's running mate in 2016, had been an extremely loyal vice president until he distanced himself from Trump in the 2020 election.
Desperate to reverse his defeat and remain in power, Trump tried to convince Pence — and his supporters — that somehow the then-Vice President could reject the will of the voters as he presided over the ceremonial counting of the Electoral College votes on January 6. of 2021, although he did not have such powers. As the count was taking place, a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the compound, smashing windows, assaulting police officers and forcing Pence, his family and staff members to seek cover as the angry mob chanted: “Hang Mike Pence! !”