Former radio talker Pence declines IN Senate bid


Mike Pence, who represents Indiana’s 6th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives, has decided to run for re-election there rather than go statewide in a challenge of incumbent Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN). Pence is a former conservative radio talker from that state.

According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Pence had been recruited by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. And a recent Rasmussen poll checking on a theoretical race between Pence and Bayh gave him an early 47%-44% advantage.

However, Pence quickly announced his intention to remain in the House for now, where he is high up on the Republican leadership hierarchy.

Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza also speculated that Pence was not eager to go up against the generally popular Bayh or his $12M+ campaign warchest.

Further, Pence has made it known that he is keeping an eye on a possible run for the White House in 2012, and Cillizza suspects that a run against Bayh could be a distraction.

RBR-TVBR observation: Pence is a co-sponsor of legislation to create a federal reporters shield. He is not, however, a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, hence Pence rarely has occasion to directly address matters of concern to broadcasters.

Besides the shield, he does have a pet issue – the Fairness Doctrine, of which he is a fierce opponent. He has been trying to get legislation on the books to prevent its return for at least the last couple of years, introducing the Broadcaster Freedom Act about a year ago. It has gone nowhere.

On the other hand, there hasn’t been any overt attempt to reintroduce Fairness either.