Vice President Mike Pence Returns to Indiana on Friday

Vice President Mike Pence will be back Indiana on Friday to talk about tax reform. He's speaking in Anderson at the Wylam Center of Flagship East. 

It's been more than 60 years since a sitting president or vice president has visited Anderson. 

"It means a lot. There are a lot of places you can go in Indiana," said Charles Staley, Flagship Enterprise Center's CEO. 

The Trump administration has promised to change tax code since the campaign trail, and Friday Vice President Pence will bring that message first hand to Hoosiers. And then about a week later, President Donald Trump is expected to do the same. 

"We're known for being more fiscally conservative and having a pretty tight budget," said Laura Wilson, a political science professor at UIndy. "He might be looking at Indiana as a place for grassroots support but also a place for inspiration." 

The Vice President is expected to talk about making the tax code simpler, more job-friendly and more favorable to the middle class. But Wilson said don't expect too many specifics.  

"I don't think people necessarily care the nuts and bolts," she said. "They're more interested in what is this going to provide me." 

Several Republican Indiana congressional members and Governor Eric Holcomb will join the vice president. But the name that surprises Wilson is Senator Joe Donnelly, a Democrat. 

"Donald Trump sees him as a potential ally for crossing over for a vote," she said. "And likewise Donnelly understands he's coming from a very conservative state. If he wants to maintain his seat in the senate, he can't be as liberal as some of the other Democrats."   

Senator Donnelly is already facing several challengers in his run for re-election in 2018, including Rep. Luke Messer and Rep. Todd Rokita, both of whom will also greet the vice president Friday afternoon. 

Senator Donnelly did send the following statement: 

"It is an honor to welcome the Vice President back home to Indiana. As we discuss tax reform, I believe that any reform effort should include policies that will create new jobs, protect existing jobs, and benefit middle class and working families. That is what I’ve discussed with President Trump, and I’m pleased he has been supportive of my proposals to prevent the outsourcing of jobs."

In response, Rep. Luke Messer’s campaign team released the following statement: 

"Make no mistake, Joe Donnelly is feeling the pressure, and he may be forced to do something he doesn’t want to do: give Hoosiers a tax cut. The truth is Joe Donnelly has voted against tax cuts for Hoosiers over 30 times. But now, with the spotlight on him, I fully expect Joe to do what he does best: make a political calculation, support President Trump's plan and hope he gets away scot-free."


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