INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana and Gov. Mike Pence were thrust into the national stage last year for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, fallout.
Footage from Indiana boycotts is already being aired on national media. RFRA spawned the Pence Must Go campaign, as well as the Indy Welcomes All movement, and even a #BoycottIndiana on Twitter. But Republicans argue the state under Pence’s governing is doing well, especially economically.
Now the question is whether negative memories will come back to impact Pence, Trump or the state of Indiana.
Kevin Warren began the Pence Must Go movement “to bring attention to Governor Pence’s negative and highly religious ideologies and his horrible policies.”
His signs and T-shirts could be seen across Indy last summer. He said he’s conflicted with the possibility of Pence leaving Indiana to head for D.C.
“I have mixed feelings and mixed blessings,” he said, “I want him out of our state because someone that doesn’t understand the separation of church and state and governs with religious ideologies does not belong in government.”
“I’m horrified that we could potentially have him as a vice president or anywhere near the White House,” he said.
Pence’s conservative reputation is exactly why one local Republican leader thinks Pence makes a great running mate for Trump.
“Governor Pence brings a very conservative approach to governing, and I think he’ll bring that to the federal level as well,” Johnson County Indiana GOP Vice Chairman Jeff Colvin said.
He thinks having Pence chosen by Trump only reflects well on the state.
“I think it speaks volumes for Pence’s abilities and his background — his record in the state of Indiana,” he said. “I think he’s done a great job with our economy.”
Some people are concerned that the RFRA memories will come back to damage Pence and the state.
“RFRA was controversial, but I think the party and the ticket would overcome those concerns,” he said.
“It’s going to bring more negative attention to Indiana, so it’s not a good thing on multiple levels,” Warren said.