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Republican Exploring Run for Pence’s Seat

Another Republican is taking steps toward running for Republican Rep. Mike Pence’s seat in eastern Indiana. Henry County Council President Nate LaMar sent a letter to GOP county chairs and vice chairs announcing his intentions to run.

“Assuming Mike runs for Governor, I am considering running for Congress or the state legislature,” LaMar wrote.

LaMar used his letter to inform activists of his work in local Republican politics, including everything from helping set up debates to serving as chairman of the district’s McCain presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008. He said he hopes to attend the counties’ individual Lincoln Day celebrations and get in touch with people affiliated with other Republican organizations in the district.

Pence has yet to announce a run for another office, and most likely will seek the governorship, but already Republicans have been preparing to take his place.

Former County Sheriff Matt Strittmatter, a Pence supporter, started fundraising for the race last summer and has hired a former Pence aide, Indiana-based consultant Ron Arnold, to help with his campaign.

Other Republicans who may take a look at the race include Don Bates Jr., who lost to now-Sen. Dan Coats in the 2010 Senate Primary; Pence’s predecessor, former Rep. David McIntosh; and former state Rep. Luke Messer, who lost to adjacent Rep. Dan Burton in the 2010 primary.

Much of the decision about who will run in which Indiana districts depends where the Republican-controlled state legislature draws the lines in the new map this spring. Pence’s district is still likely to be Republican-leaning, and few Democrats have expressed interest in the race.

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