Thursday, July 14, 2016 8:27 pm
Mike Pence, governor of the US state of Indiana is the running mate to Donald Trump, the Republican candidate in the November election.
Reuters reported that Trump told Republican officials on Thursday that he has picked the governor as his vice presidential running mate, a conservative with the potential to unify divided Republicans.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is to announce his choice on Friday at 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) in Manhattan.
Trump told national Republican officials that he had settled on Pence, according to the Republican source, who is familiar with the campaign’s operations. Sources had told Reuters earlier that Trump had been leaning toward Pence but cautioned that he could still change his mind.
Trump is to be formally nominated as the party’s candidate for the Nov. 8 election at the Republican National Convention next week in Cleveland. Traditionally, the vice presidential choice is used to build enthusiasm among party loyalists.
Trump’s choice of running mate is seen as critical because his defeat of 16 rivals in the Republican primary race left the party divided and some party leaders are still uneasy about some of his campaign positions, and his style.
Roll Call, which first reported the news, said Trump was reportedly impressed with Pence’s calm demeanor, his experience on Capitol Hill and as a governor, and Pence’s potential to assist in governing if Trump wins in November. Trump, a New York businessman, has never held elected office.
Trump had also considered former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, 73, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 53, as finalists.
Gingrich told an ABC News correspondent earlier that he expected to hear Trump’s decision after 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) and would not be surprised if Trump chose Pence.
Pence, 57, a former congressman, is seen as a safe choice, not too flashy but popular among conservatives, with Midwestern appeal and the ability to rally more party faithful behind Trump.