Who is Mike Pence, Republican 2024 presidential hopeful?
By Moira Warburton
WASHINGTON, May 31 (Reuters) -Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will launch his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination on June 7, three sources familiar with the plans told Reuters, setting him up for a battle with his ex-boss, former President Donald Trump.
Here are key facts about Pence's life and career:
BORN A CATHOLIC DEMOCRAT
Pence, 63, was born into an Irish Catholic family of six children in Indiana. His older brother, Greg, is a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In his youth, Pence was Democrat along with the rest of his family - he voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980 and considered John F. Kennedy to be a role model.
However, in college he converted to evangelical Christianity, to his mother's disappointment, and was influenced by former President Ronald Reagan to join the Republican Party.
"His ideals inspired me to leave the party of my youth and become a Republican like he did," Pence said of Reagan in 2016.
Pence, who completed a bachelor of arts in history at Hanover College in Indiana and a law degree from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, worked as a lawyer and conservative talk show host before running for Congress in 2000.
He met his wife, Karen, while in law school. They have three children.
RELIGIOUS AND SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE
Pence was first elected to the U.S. House in 2001 and quickly became known as one of its most conservative members.
"I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order," Pence said when accepting the nomination for Trump's vice president.
He has said he does not believe in evolution and has lamented that creationism - the theory that God created Earth and humans - is no longer taught in schools.
RIFT WITH TRUMP
Trump's choice of Pence for running mate in 2016 was widely seen as a move to solidify support among Christian conservatives.
Their relationship remained steady throughout Trump's many scandals in office. Pence repeatedly defended Trump or simply stayed silent.
That loyalty was not repaid as Trump targeted Pence in the lead-up to and during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which was the breaking point in their relationship.
"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution," Trump wrote on Twitter on the afternoon of Jan. 6, while rioters were calling for Pence to be hanged.
"I think the times call for different leadership," Pence told NBC News in February, when asked whether Trump should be the next Republican presidential candidate. "I'm confident we'll have better choices than my old running mate."
Reporting by Moira Warburton in Washington; Editing by Alistair Bell
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