Pence will be ‘very active’ in 2022 elections amid new partnerships with conservative groups: ex-VP's adviser

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After staying out of the political spotlight the past two weeks, former Vice President Mike Pence is making a measured comeback.

Pence grabbed headlines Thursday when he announced that he is joining the Heritage Foundation as a distinguished fellow, and again on Friday with the announcement that he is entering into a partnership with the Young America’s Foundation.

The Heritage Foundation is one of the oldest and most influential think tanks in the conservative spectrum. And Young America’s Foundation is a well-known half century old conservative youth organization.

The announcements came quickly after Wednesday’s word that the former vice president launched a transition office.

The moves come ahead of what are expected to be more announcements in the coming days on affiliations with other well-known conservative organizations and the likely setting up, in the next couple of weeks, of a nonprofit organization that would allow Pence to raise money for conservative causes.

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks after arriving back in his hometown of Columbus, Ind., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Pence has returned to his Indiana hometown, where he told a small crowd that serving in the White House was the greatest honor of his life. Pence flew on a government plane Wednesday afternoon into the Columbus Municipal Airport with his wife, Karen, after attending President Joe Biden’s inauguration. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(AP)

The announcements by Pence – a likely contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination – come as early moves are already underway heading to the 2022 midterm elections, when Republicans are aiming to win back majorities in the House and Senate.

Marc Short, a close Pence aide and adviser who served as the then-vice president’s chief of staff the past two years, told Fox News that Pence will likely be “very active” in helping fellow Republicans on the campaign trail over the next two years.

Pence is no stranger to the campaign politics. He was elected to the House in 2000 and won reelection five times before winning Indiana’s 2012 gubernatorial election. In the summer of 2016, he joined the Republican national ticket as Donald Trump’s running mate. Pence was also a tireless campaigner for GOP candidates in the 2018 midterms and last year’s elections, as well as during the recently concluded two-month long Georgia Senate runoff campaigns.

Short said initial conversations with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and his team are already underway on how Pence can be useful going forward, as well as with the Republican Governors Association. Pence served on the RGA’s executive committee during his tenure as Indiana governor and has a close relationship with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who recently took over as RGA chairman. Gubernatorial elections are being held in 38 states over the next two years.

A Republican source in Pence’s orbit predicted, “I think you’ll find that candidates will be remarkably welcoming to Mike Pence coming and campaigning on their behalf.”

Campaigning for Republicans in next year’s elections could pay dividends when the next White House race officially gets underway following the 2022 midterms.

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“It’s a strategy that a number of presidential candidates have used over the years, traveling to early primary and caucus states ostensibly to help Republicans but really make friends, lay the groundwork for White House campaigns,” noted longtime GOP strategist Jim Merrill.

Merrill, a veteran of numerous Republican presidential campaigns who’s based in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire, added: “I expect we’ll see Pence here in New Hampshire early and often.”

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