Mike Pence
Mike Pence

Michael Richard Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the 48th and current Vice President of the United States, since January 20, 2017. He previously was the 50thGovernor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017 and a member of the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013.

Born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, Pence graduated from Hanover College and earned a law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law before entering private practice. After losing two bids for a U.S. congressional seat in 1988 and 1990, he became a conservative radio and television talk show host from 1994 to 1999. Pence was elected to the United States Congressin 2000 and represented Indiana's 2nd congressional district and Indiana's 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. He served as the chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011. Pence positioned himself as a "principled conservative" and supporter of the Tea Party movement, stating that he was "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order."

Upon becoming Governor of Indiana in January 2013, Pence initiated the largest tax cut in Indiana's history and pushed for more funding for education initiatives. Pence signed bills intended to restrict abortions, including one that prohibited abortions if the reason for the procedure was the fetus's race, gender, or disability. After Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, he encountered fierce resistance from moderate members of his party, the business community, and LGBT advocates. Shortly thereafter, he signed legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and other criteria.

On November 8, 2016, Pence was elected as Vice President, after he dropped out of his gubernatorial reelection campaign in July to become the vice presidential running mate for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who went on to win the presidential election.