Columbus native Republican Mike Pence will be the first Hoosier to serve in the White House as vice president since Dan Quayle did in the early 1990s.
Some local residents said they are glad to see someone from so close to home making a major impact on the national political scene. Others don’t think Indiana’s governor is a good choice to help President-elect Donald Trump lead the country for the next four years.
Former Seymour resident Brandon Goecker of Columbus said he believes Pence is exactly who is needed to “make America great again.”
“Mike Pence’s strong voice will soothe President Trump’s harsh undertones,” Goecker said.
Pence was elected governor of Indiana in 2012. He made national headlines when he signed a religious freedom bill into law in 2015. That bill extended legal protections to Indiana business owners who didn’t want to participate in same-sex weddings because of religious beliefs.
Many people said it made discrimination against gay and transgender citizens legal. Pence later amended the bill.
Tammy Niewedde of Brownstown said she worries that the country will face heightened levels of discrimination under the Trump/Pence administration.
“Pence’s track record was never good for Indiana,” she said. “I can’t fathom what he’ll do to our nation.”
But some residents say they respect and appreciate Pence’s religious beliefs and stances.
Cindy Galbraith of Seymour said she hopes Pence continues to turn to God when making decisions.
“He is a Christian man who was faithful to God, and I see God blessing him for his faithfulness,” Galbraith said. “I mean, who could have imagined him to be vice president when so much hate was being heaped on him? I see his rise to vice president as a God thing.”
Angela Overgaard of Crothersville said America should be concerned with education issues with Pence in the White House. She said Pence is to blame for the state’s ongoing teacher shortage.
“How do our children stand a chance to compete for better jobs, for better lives, when they weren’t given every opportunity in public education?” she asked. “This is a sad day for those in education. He didn’t care for the future of our Hoosier children while he sat in office here. It’s surely not going to change his undercutting and manipulative ways in Washington.”