Greg Pence, brother of Vice President Mike Pence, is running to take his brother’s old seat in the House of Representatives. The sitting congressman will challenge a vulnerable Democrat for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat, leaving Pence’s brother to face off against a local entrepreneur to represent the Republican Party in a deep red congressional district.
Pence, 61, is a Marine Corps veteran and owner of two antique malls. He once ran a now-bankrupt chain of convenience stores. He is running on issues like infrastructure, veterans’ affairs, fixing the immigration system, and health care.
On his website, Pence touts his conservative Christian credentials, his record as a job creator, and his longterm residency in Columbus. While the vice president rejected Roman Catholicism for evangelical Protestantism, his brother is an active member of St. Bartholomew Catholic Church. He also once served as chairman of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.
Many Republicans and GOP organizations have endorsed the vice president’s brother, including Mike Pence’s Great America Committee PAC, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). Even the outgoing Rep. Luke Messer has endorsed Pence. The current vice president held the seat for 12 years before becoming Indiana’s governor.
The VP’s brother stiffest competition comes from 36-year-old entrepreneur Jonathan Lamb, who has attacked his opponent for relying on the Pence name and dodging debates. Lamb loaned his campaign around $800,000 in an effort to keep pace with Pence, who has raised $1.2 million and spent nearly $1 million as of mid-April, the New York Post reported. These two candidates have made the 6th Congressional District the most expensive House race in Indiana this year.
The vice president’s brother claims that his time is better spent meeting voters in person, rather than debating Lamb.
Pence and Lamb are not the only Republicans running for the seat. Stephen MacKenzie, Mike Campbell, and Jeff Smith are also running to replace Messer. The winner will face the first among six Democrats: George Holland, K. Lave, Jeannine Lee Lake, Jim Pruett, Lane Siekman, or Joshua Williamson.
Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.) currently represents the 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, but he has decided not to run for re-election, opting instead to challenge Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). Although the GOP has a strong chance at defeating Donnelly, Messer took third in the only poll in the primary race, falling behind Rep. Todd Rokita and former state Rep. Mike Braun.
It would be ironic if Messer loses the Senate race after having forfeited his seat in Congress, only returning the seat to another Pence. A Lamb win, however, would prove impressive.