As the saying goes, the vice president is just one heartbeat away from the most powerful office on the planet. In today's Seeker Daily two-part special, we take a closer look at the vice presidential candidates.
After a much-publicized run-up in July of 2016, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump chose Indiana governor Mike Pence to be his running mate A stalwart Midwest conservative, Pence had been in public office since 2000, spending most most of that time in the House of Representatives.
Pence grew up in Indiana, in a Catholic household, and at one time even had aspirations to be a priest. But he ended up getting a law degree and making several unsuccessful bids for Indiana congressional seats. After losing the elections, Pence started his own talk radio show, where he positioned himself as level-headed conservative pundit -- or as he called it, "Rush Limbaugh on decaf."
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In 2000, Pence finally won his congressional seat and was an early advocate of the Tea Party movement. During his tenure, Pence voted against tax increases and big spending bills and earned a reputation as a staunchly conservative legislator.
Pence was elected Indiana governor in 2012 and made national headlines in 2015, when he backed a controversial bill that allowed business owners to refuse LGBT customers. Critics called the law discriminatory, and after nationwide backlash, Pence signed a gutted version of the bill.
Pence's history with LGBT issues goes back to tenure in Congress, when he advocated for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. In terms of the presidential ticket, it's one of many issues about which Trump and Pence don't see eye to eye. Trump has a history of supporting LGBT rights, and the two appear to have major policy differences on other issues, including abortion and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Today, Pence calls himself "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican -- in that order." Many political observers contend that his social conservatism could cost the Republican ticket some moderate voters, but Pence's relatively calm demeanor is generally considered a plus.
For more on the Democratic vice presidential nominee, click on over to our companion report: Who is Tim Kaine?
-- Glenn McDonald
The Washington Post: 10 Things You Should Know About Mike Pence, Donald Trump's Running Mate
TIME: Here's What Mike Pence Said on LGBT Issues Over the Years
The New York Times: Who is Mike Pence?