Mike Pence will launch his presidential campaign in Iowa on June 7

Former Vice President Mike Pence, left, and former Utah Governor Gary Herbert arrives at a luncheon Friday, April 28, 2023, in Salt Lake City. Pence's speech at the luncheon came a day after he testified for seven hours in front the grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

NEW YORK — Former Vice President Mike Pence will officially launch his long-expected campaign for the Republican nomination for president in Iowa next week, adding another candidate to the growing GOP field and putting him in direct competition with his former boss.

Pence will hold a kickoff event in Des Moines on June 7, the date of his 64th birthday, according to two people familiar with his plans who spoke on condition of anonymity to share details ahead of the official announcement. He is also expected to release a video message that morning as part of the launch.


The decision to begin his campaign in Iowa instead of his home state of Indiana underscores the importance Pence’s team is placing on the early-voting state. They see Iowa as critical to Pence’s potential path to victory and hope his message will resonate with the evangelical Christian voters who make up a substantial portion of the state’s Republican electorate. Pence is an avowed social conservative and is staunchly opposed to abortion rights, favoring a national ban.

The campaign is expected to lean heavily on town halls and retail stops — including plenty of visits to Iowa’s famed Pizza Ranch chain — aimed at showcasing Pence’s personality and background as he tries to emerge from former President Donald Trump’s shadow.

While Pence is well-known by Republican voters, aides believe he needs to reintroduce himself to voters who only know him from his time as Trump’s second-in-command.

Pence, who served for more than a decade in Congress and as Indiana’s governor before he was tapped as Trump’s running mate in 2016, had been an exceedingly loyal vice president until he broke with Trump over the 2020 election.

Trump, desperate to overturn his loss and remain in power, had tried to convince Pence — and his supporters — that Pence could somehow reject voters’ will as he presided over the ceremonial counting of the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2021, even though the vice president has no such power.

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