Pence visit to Indiana State Fair has campaign feel

Governor Mike Pence visits the Indiana State Fair for opening ceremonies. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Mike Pence sandwiched a State Fair appearance between campaign stops in Virginia and Iowa on Friday.

At no point, however, did he stop being a candidate for Vice President.

It’s no surprise to see Mike Pence shaking hands and posing for pictures at the State Fair but this year it means more to the fairgoers who support his bid for Vice President.

Michelle Neagle is one of them. “He is phenomenal,” she said. “He is going to do great things. I can’t wait.”

At the opening ceremony Pence even managed to spell out his new status as he recognized State Fair Queen Tate Fritchley.

“Tate, I know what it is to get tapped unexpectedly,” he said, “and find yourself out front at lots of public events so we wish you great success.”

Also different this year is the fact that everywhere the governor went a gaggle of local and national reporters followed.

A visit to the cattle barn became a photo opportunity and exhibitors Gavin Smith and Jared Templin go caught up in it.

“It was really cool. It’s really neat,” said Gavin. “He was sleeping and we’re like, Jared wake up.”

Jared met the governor when he had a champion steer two years ago. “He said he remembers me so, it was pretty sweet,” he said.

But Pence didn’t lose sight of the reason for his visit.

“For me, what’s special about the Indiana State Fair,” he said at the opening ceremony, “is that it really celebrates the enormous and incalculable contribution that agriculture has made to the life of our state.”

It’s worth noting that Mike Pence is unlikely to be doing a lot of campaigning in Indiana so this was a rare opportunity for Pence supporters to catch up to him. Most of his time will be spent in battleground states.

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