First Run

Reagan Aids Pence’s Initial Quest for Congressional Seat

Posted May 11, 2004 at 2:19pm

In 1988, three years into his law career, Mike Pence (R) turned his focus on ousting Democratic Rep. Philip Sharp (Ind.). Pence relied heavily on negative campaigning, including attacks on Sharp for his reliance on political action committee contributions. The 29-year-old Pence even earned a Blue Room photo opportunity with then-President Ronald Reagan — “I felt like I was talking to Mt. Rushmore,” Pence would later say — that August. And yet, Pence fell to Sharp, who defeated the Republican again two years later. He finally won a seat in the House on his third try, in November 2000.

Both Pence and Reagan were back in the news this week. Roll Call reported Tuesday that Pence became the first lawmaker to launch a weblog on his official home page (“Pence Blasts Off to Blogosphere”). Sadly, Reagan’s place in the news revolved around his declining health. Former first lady Nancy Reagan cited her husband’s declining mental state in endorsing stem-cell research at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation dinner Saturday.