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Trump VP Pick is Indiana Governor | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Indiana Governor Mike Pence wave before addressing the crowd during a campaign stop at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana. REUTERS/John Sommers II

Washington-Republican White House candidate Donald Trump on Friday formally named Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, as his vice presidential running mate, ending weeks of intense speculation.

“I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate,” Trump posted on Twitter.

Pence, 57, only emerged on the short list in recent weeks, after better-known party heavyweights including vanquished presidential contenders like John Kasich or Ted Cruz either declined to be considered or appeared to not make the cut.

Pence spent 12 years in the House of Representatives, many of those on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and also spent time in House leadership.

He has been Indiana’s governor since January 2013.

U.S. media reports said Trump’s announcement would appease Republicans whose leaders had expressed doubt about the candidate’s ability to commit to the party’s principles.

Trump met privately on Wednesday with Pence and his family, and also with two other men on the short list: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Yet he chose Pence.

Trump’s announcement comes three days before the Republican National Convention opens in Cleveland, Ohio, where Trump will officially become the party’s presidential nominee.

Pence is expected to travel with him.

The Roll Call newspaper was the first to report that Trump would pick the governor of Indiana as his vice presidential running mate.

The Washington Post said that Spence is a staunch opponent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.