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Mike Pence Has Consistently Backed Military, Small Government

FILE - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence takes a question during a news conference in Indianapolis, March 31, 2015.
FILE - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence takes a question during a news conference in Indianapolis, March 31, 2015.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is a social conservative with congressional experience but also a history of generating controversy over policies critics called discriminatory.

Pence has led Indiana since 2013 and is locked in a tight race for re-election. His office champions his record of tax cuts, especially for businesses, as well as his work to push for smaller government.

Late last year he ordered state agencies to suspend funding for groups that help refugees in Indiana, saying the measure would be in place until he got assurances that proper security procedures were in place. He was one of several state leaders who at that time tried to deter the settlement of Syrian refugees following terror attacks in Paris. A federal judge struck down the order in March calling it clearly discriminatory.

He was also widely condemned by gay rights groups in 2015 for a state law they said would allow businesses to use their religious beliefs against homosexuality to deny services to gays.

But beyond his conservative record with a focus on smaller budgets and support for the military, Pence brings the type of legislative background that is attractive to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Pence served six terms in the House of Representatives after first being elected in 2000.

During his time on Capitol Hill, Pence was among the Republicans who pushed for the repeal of President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reforms. He also served as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Pence initially endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz during the Republican primary process, but even in doing so praised Trump, saying the businessman "has given voice to the frustration of millions of working Americans with a lack of progress in Washington, D.C." After Trump secured the nomination in May, Pence pledged to campaign for him.

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