Why Trump's selection of Pence is good news for evangelical Republicans

Alaska Family Action is not a Republican or Democrat organization. Our mission is to inspire biblical citizenship, equip statesmen and church leadership, promote sound, pro-family policy, and elevate community dialogue on life, marriage, religious liberty and parental rights.

Our vision is to see an Alaska where families thrive, religious freedom flourishes, life is cherished, and God is honored.  At the same time, there can be no doubt that those who identify as Republican are often much more likely to align themselves with our positions as are Democrats. Indeed, at their convention, about to take place in the great state of Ohio, the Grand Old Party adopted the strongest platform we've ever seen on social issues much to the chagrin of "transpolitical" types who identify as Republicans but were likely born as and really still are liberal Democrats at heart.

And so it is good news for conservatives in general and evangelicals in particular that Donald Trump has selected Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, as his running mate. His selection goes a long way toward consolidating GOP support for Donald Trump, making a Trump-Pence ticket far more likely to defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall. As such, his selection shows the Trump campaign's growing understanding that to win they need conservatives in general and evangelicals in particular.

Gov. Pence is an absolute ally to the pro-family movement with an exceptional record as a six-term, 12-year- veteran of Congress as well as the chief executive of the Midwestern state with the best overall business climate. In Congress, he was a champion of life, religious liberty and traditional marriage, as revealed by his votes and statements. He is also an unabashed champion for Israel, protecting our borders and a strong military.

Under Mike Pence's stewardship, Indiana has record employment levels, a bond rating better than that of the U.S. government and a business climate that is eighth-best overall and best in the Midwest, according to Forbes magazine. Pence's economic record includes accelerating a tax cut that eliminated all inheritance taxes in Indiana.

Pence is also a policy expert. He led the Indiana Policy Review (State Policy Network economic think tank) in the '90s while serving on the board of the Indiana Family Institute (our sister organization in Indiana) before running for and winning a seat in Congress in 2000.

Pence spent a decade on talk radio, honing his communication skills and showing all Hoosiers that he is a cheerful, winsome policy leader who is "a Christian first, then a conservative and then a Republican." He has truly walked the walk of a genuine believer both personally and professionally.


Last year, because of inordinate pressure by corporate CEO bullies who threatened to pull out of his state if he signed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, Pence gave in to pressure from the gay lobby and backed a so-called "fix" that undermined the RFRA that he had just signed.

Was this an error in judgment? Most of those I know would say yes but at the same time, Mike Pence has a lifetime record of defending religious freedom that remains strong despite this single blemish. In 2016, he again showed his strong commitment to religious freedom by promising a veto of any bill that would undermine religious freedom.

Donald Trump is the most unorthodox, unpredictably viable presidential candidate in my lifetime. He has caused serious heartburn and created justifiable consternation among the pro-family movement for things he has said and things he has done. But decisions have consequences and if Trump's first hire is any indication of what lies ahead, Hillary Clinton should be as concerned about her political opponent now as she is about her scandalous, deceitful background.

Jim Minnery

Jim Minnery is president and founder of Alaska Family Action, statewide, pro-family public policy organization that exists to provide a voice on social and cultural issues impacting Alaskan families.