Click the official's name below to learn more about them.
Thomas N. Micozzie
Mayor Micozzie is a lifelong resident of Upper Darby Township. He has been involved in the Upper Darby Township community since his teenage years first as a firefighter; he rose to the rank of fire chief and chairman of the volunteer fire company board of directors as well as many other positions in the Fire Department. As a former fire chief, Mayor Micozzie has taken an active role in the emergency service organizations.
Mayor Micozzie currently works as the Risk Management/Labor Relations Director for the County of Delaware overseeing the Liability issues and Labor Management for the entire County.
A licensed nursing home administrator, Mayor Micozzie worked for twenty-eight years in the long term healthcare industry with several disciplines including facilities management, purchasing and administration.
Elected to Upper Darby Township Council in 1988, he served the second district of Upper Darby for over twenty years and was elected by his peers to the office of Secretary to Council and served as Chairman of the Public Safety Committee.
In January 2009, Mayor Micozzie was unanimously appointed by his Council peers to fill the unexpired term of F. Raymond Shay.
In 2011, Mayor Micozzie was elected to Office for a four year term.
Mayor Micozzie has been deeply involved in many community activities and has initiated a pastoral committee with church leaders and regularly meets with community leaders to solicit their ideas and opinions on how to keep Upper Darby Township a very liveable community. He also initiated Town meetings throughout the community and regularly meets with residents to hear their views, concerns and ideas.
Mayor Micozzie has been married to Susan for thirty four years. They have two married daughters, Nina and Nicole and four grandchildren, Matthew, Michael & David and Emily Susan.
Mayor Micozzie currently lives in the Westbrook Park section of Upper Darby Township.
Donald P. Bonnett Council President / 1st District
I was raised in the Westbrook Park section of the Township attending Holy Cross Elementary School and participating in youth baseball and football programs and enjoying the Township supported recreational programs at the Westbrook Park Elementary School Playground in the summertime. I served on active duty in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S Dupont (DD-941), after Upper Darby High School. Shortly before and after my military service, I began my carrier working for Philadelphia and Delaware County Architectural and Engineering firms. After receiving an "Honorably Discharge" from the U. S. Navy, I attended Drexel University for the requisite education preparing and qualifying me for licensing by examination as a Registered Architect, the profession I practice today as President of a Delaware County based Architectural and Engineering Firm. I am a member of various professional organizations including the American Institute of Architects, AIA Pennsylvania, AIA Philadelphia Chapter, National Fire Protection Association, U.S. Green Building Council, Delaware Valley Green Building Council and the International Code Council.
I currently serve as the First District Councilman and President of the eleven member Upper Darby Township Council. In my years of service on Upper Darby Township Council I have been active on many committees including serving as Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Committee as well as a member of the Finance, Law and Government and Health Committees. I was the Chairman of the Township Comprehensive Plan Committee and subsequently Chairman of the committee that developed the current zoning ordinance of Upper Darby Township. Previously, I was a Charter Member of the Board of the Upper Darby Education Association and a charter member of the Aronimink Station Business Association Board of Directors.
I live in the Pilgrim Gardens section of Drexel Hill with my wife Donna and two of our six grandchildren, Bella and Gabby, who are good students in the Upper Darby School system, Bella at Drexel Hill Middle School and Gabby at Aronimink Elementary School. Donna and I are members of the Pilgrim Gardens / Aronimink Civic Association.
Thomas P. Wagner Council Vice President / 3rd District
Councilman Tom Wagner was appointed as a member of the Town Council in 2005 to fill an unexpired term. He was elected to a full term as a Councilman-at-large in November of 2005. After completing his first term, he was elected in 2009 as the Councilman for the Third District.
Mr. Wagner has contributed to a number of the Town Council's major initiatives during his seven years of service. He was a principal proponent of the Township's change to single stream recycling, and he spearheaded the public education effort which introduced the new recycling program throughout the entire Township. He was the Township's chief spokesman on the Llanerch Quarry Project, and this effort resulted in major concessions by the developer to ease the traffic impact on Upper Darby's residents. He has played a major role in the selection and promotion of police personnel, and unwavering support for the police department has been a hallmark of his council service. Currently, Mr. Wagner is the Vice President of the Council, and Chairman of its Committee on Finance and Appropriations.
In his private life, Mr. Wagner is married with five children, all of whom have attended the Upper Darby School System through the eighth grade. They are all also graduates of Prendie or Bonner. Mr. Wagner and his wife are active supporters of St. Dorothy's Parish, where he served for ten years on the Finance Committee.
When he isn't tending to Township duties, Mr. Wagner is an attorney, practicing law with a large Philadelphia law firm. He specializes in litigation and trial work. His clients include manufacturing companies, transportation authorities, travel agents and tour operators. He also has extensive experience representing municipalities and their employees.
Mr. Wagner graduated with honors from Fairfield University, and he attended law school at St. John's University, where he was an editor of the Law Review. The members of the legal profession have voted him a "Super Lawyer" every time the balloting has been done. He has twice been voted among the Top 100 Lawyers in Pennsylvania, a state with more than 50,000 licensed attorneys.
Lisa Faraglia Council Secretary / 2nd District
Graduate, Penn State, Associate Degree Healthcare Management
Graduate, Delaware County College Nursing Program
Graduate, Fair Acres, Certified Nursing Assistance Program
Graduate, Upper Darby High School
West Brook Park Youth Association
Delaware County Hospital Operation Snowflake 2007 to present
Upper Darby Committee Women 2008 to present
Holy Cross CYO Board Communication and Fundraising 2008 to present
Holy Cross CYO Football Program 2008 to present
Cardinal O'Hara Lady Loins Basketball Board 2013 to present Communications
Holy Cross Social Committee 2014 to present
Mayor's Appointment of Comprehensive Plan Committee 2014 to present
Conroy Play It Forward Committee Fundraising 2010 to present
Primo's Pool 2008 to present
Marc J. Manfre 4th District
A lifelong resident of Upper Darby Township, he is a graduate of Monsignor Bonner High School and is a 20 year resident of Kirklyn where he lives with his wife May Beth and their children Meghan, Caroline and Joseph.
A graduate of Temple University where he earned his B.S. in Recreation and Sports Management, he serves as the Director of the Delaware County Parks and Recreation Department and is a member of the Pennsylvania Parks and Recreation Society.
President of the Upper Darby Police Athletic League ("PAL"), he served as President of the St. Laurence CYO.
A member of the Hero Scholarship Fund Board and Hero Bowl Committee, he served on the Upper Darby Time for Teens Board.
Jacob "Jack" A. Bierling, Jr. Council At Large
I have lived in Upper Darby Township for forty years. I married my high school sweetheart Noreen in January 1970. I returned to Pennsylvania from the USAF in March 1971 and lived in Drexel Hill. We then purchased a home in1972 in the Primos section of Upper Darby. We live there for 32 years with our three children Jack, Lynn and Colleen. In 2001 we moved to Drexel Hill where we presently reside.
I was born in Philadelphia and attended Our Mother of Sorrows Elementary school at 48th and Wyalusing through seventh grade. In 1961 we moved to Clifton Heights where I attended and graduated from St. Eugene’s school in Primos. I also played sports with the Clifton Heights PAL. I attended Monsignor Bonner freshman year and then transferred to the brand new school Cardinal O’Hara and graduated in 1966. I then went to work for a plumbing contractor for a year. In 1967 I entered the United States Air Force. In 1969 I volunteered to go to Viet Nam where I served in the 555th Red Horse Heavy Construction Squadron.
I became a member of Plumber’s Union Local 690 in September of 1971 as an Apprentice, Journeyman and Forman plumber. I have been a member for 43 years retiring in February 2013. I have been a licensed Real Estate agent for over 38 years. I graduated from Delaware County Community College in 2007.
In 1991 I started working for the Upper Darby School District I starting as a Mechanical Services Foreman. I was the Master Plumber of record for the school district. I soon became the Coordinator of Mechanical Services. In 2002 I became the Assistant Facility manager and oversaw the maintenance department. I held this position until 2006 when I became the Supervisor of Transportation for the school district. I retired from the Upper Darby School District in June of 2011. Presently I am employed at Williamson College of the Trades as the Facility Manager.
I was the Chairman of the Upper Darby Historical Commission for a number of years before resigning in 2006. I was on the Upper Darby Zoning Board for about 18 years which I was chairman for about 16 years. In 2011 I was elected to my present position of Councilman in Upper Darby Township.
In the community I coached in the Clifton Heights PAL for a number of years. I have been involved in the Knights of Columbus for over 40 years and have worked on a number of charitable events.
I have three children and eight grandchildren. Two of my children live in close proximity to my wife and I in Drexel Hill. My youngest daughter lives in Ridley Township.
I enjoy the challenges of my position as At- Large Council member of the Upper Darby Township Council. I believe that Upper Darby is a great place to Live, Work and raise a family and I would like to keep it that way.
Patrick V. Spellman Council At Large
A lifelong resident of Upper Darby Township, he is a graduate of Monsignor Bonner High School and lives in Drexel Hill with his wife Trish and their children, Maura and Neve.
A graduate of Lycoming College, he earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice.
A member of Steamfitters Union Local 420 since 1988, he served as a delegate to the Delaware County AFL-CIO.
A member of the DeLaSalle Knights of Columbus Council 590, he coached for the St. Bernadette's CYO and the Drexel Hill Little League.
A Service Manager for Johnson Controls, he specializes in regional facility healthcare.
Colleen P. Morrone Vice Chairman
Colleen P. Morrone was elected to Delaware County Council in November 2011 and sworn into office in January 2012.
An active member of both the Delaware County and state of Delaware communities, Colleen contributes her time and talent as a professional business leader, an elected leader and a volunteer with many organizations. The first person from the western end of Delaware County to hold a seat on County Council, Colleen was named Concord Person of the Year for 2011 as recognition for her tireless involvement in the township.
In January 2004, Colleen was elected to the Concord Township Board of Supervisors as the first woman to serve on that board in the township's 320-year history. In 2010, she was elected to her second term and served as vice-chair of the board.
Colleen is the Chief Mission Officer for Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County, Inc. where she has worked for 22 years, starting as an administrative assistant and later serving as public relations manager, human resources director and was named Chief Mission Officer in 2003.
In her current position with Goodwill, Colleen provides direction for human resources, employee benefits and staff development for nearly 700 employees. Her responsibilities include workforce development programs and family strengthening services for 15,000 individuals who face barriers to employment.
Through her efforts, Goodwill has initiated innovative programs and collaborative efforts with local non-profit and state agencies to provide vocational and job placement services and family strengthening services to improve the quality of life for individuals through the Power of Work.
In January 2008, she was elected to the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.
She also serves as a member of the Society of Human Resources Management, the St. Cornelius Parent's Association, the Delaware County Women's Commission, the Insuring Delaware County's Children (CHIP) Committee, the advisory committee for the Delaware County Community Foundation, and the advisory board for the Neumann University Center for Community Leadership and Entrepreneurship.
In 2008, Colleen received the Leaders of Distinction Award from the Foundation of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. In 1993, she was recognized by Goodwill Industries of America Inc. as the recipient of the North American GIVS Scholarship. She is a 1989 United Way Leadership Delaware graduate, a 2007 Leadership Delaware County graduate and completed the Goodwill Industries International Executive Development Program in June 2011.
She is a graduate of Wilmington University where she earned a degree in business management.
Born in Wilmington, Del., she and her husband, Anthony, live in Concord with their three children.
John P. McBlain Councilman
John P. McBlain, a lifelong resident of Aldan Borough, was elected to Delaware County Council in November 2011 and began his four-year term on County Council in January 2012.
Mr. McBlain comes to County Council with a strong legal background, having served as County Solicitor for over eight years prior to his election. He was appointed as the Solicitor of Delaware County in 2003, with a Delaware County Daily Times headline at the time calling McBlain Delaware County's "Top Lawyer". In his role as Solicitor, he oversaw the legal affairs of County government and worked on a daily basis with the Delaware County Council, developing County policy.
He also served for a time as guardian ad litem, an advocate for abused and neglected children involved with the County Children and Youth Services.
Councilman McBlain is a graduate of St. Joe's Collingdale grade school and Monsignor Bonner High School. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Villanova University, majoring in Political Science. Following college, he worked for the United State Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. McBlain attended law school at the Widener University School of Law in Delaware and graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor degree.
After graduating law school, Mr. McBlain began practicing as an attorney in Delaware County. He joined the firm of Swartz Campbell in 1996 and has since practiced in the areas of civil litigation and municipal government law. Mr. McBlain helped found the firm's municipal law unit and represents various municipalities, zoning boards, government authorities and nonprofit corporations.
Mr. McBlain's representation of the County's Redevelopment Authority and Economic Development Oversight Board placed him in a position where he negotiated the agreements that landed the largest economic development projects in Delaware County. He negotiated the agreements that brought Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack to the City of Chester and led the negotiations that brought the Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer Team and PPL Park to Delaware County.
Mr. McBlain's interest in government began at a young age when he was appointed to the Aldan Borough Council at age 24. He subsequently was elected to four terms on the Borough Council.
He and his wife, Barbara, live in Aldan Borough with their three daughters.
Michael F. Culp Councilman
Michael F. Culp of Springfield was appointed to Delaware County Council on January 7, 2015 to fill the unexpired term of Senator Thomas J. McGarrigle.
Councilman Culp is a lifelong resident of Delaware County who currently resides in Springfield Delaware County with his wife Nicole and three children.
Councilman Culp is a partner operating a small law firm in Media Delaware County.
Prior to being appointed to Council, Michael was a Springfield Township Commissioner. In Springfield, Councilman Culp, Chaired the Parks and Recreation Department and was a member of the Public Safety Committee. Before being elected to Commissioner, Councilman Culp was a member of the Springfield Township Zoning Hearing Board and Springfield Township Parks and Recreation Board. Previously Michael served as a member of the Delaware County Housing Authority and is currently a member of the Delaware County Chester City Revitalization and Improvement Authority.
Councilman Culp volunteers his time with the Springfield Township Athletic Association and Springfield Youth Club and St. Francis of Assisi CYO. Mr. Culp was previously the Director of the Springfield Fund for the Elderly.
Mr. Culp is a graduate of Cardinal O'Hara High School, Widener University and Widener School of Law.
Delaware County District Attorney
Katayoun "Kat" M. Copeland
As a graduate of The Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr College and Temple University's Beasley School of Law, Ms. Copeland has a distinguished 25-year prosecutorial career. Throughout the past six years she has been a member of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania assigned to its Narcotics and Organized Crime Section. District Attorney Copeland previously served for 19 years in the Delaware County District Attorney's Office.
District Attorney Copeland 's tenure in the District Attorney 's Office began in 1992 as an Assistant District Attorney during which time she was assigned to the office's trial division, as well as its drug task force. In 2000, she became chief of drug enforcement overseeing the investigation and prosecution of these cases countywide and the office's newly established Criminal-Terrorism Unit coordinating with local, state and federal law enforcement to evaluate matters linked to national security concerns. In 2004, District Attorney Copeland rose to the position of Deputy District Attorney while continuing to supervise and manage the office's terrorism-intelligence concerns, as well as its drug enforcement efforts.
As a member of the United States Attorney 's Office since 2011, her responsibilities included working with federal investigators and prosecuting matters in the federal district courts involving international drug operations, armed robberies, large-scale racketeering conspiracies and attempted murders. She also successfully defended such convictions before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
District Attorney Copeland has been very active throughout her prosecutorial career in professional education having taught for a number of years at the Delaware County Municipal Police Academy and as an instructor for the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania District Attorney 's Association, as well as more recently at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and El Paso Intelligence Center training program.
In addition to her well-honed prosecutorial skills, District Attorney Copeland readily appreciated broader systematic criminal justice concerns and was instrumental in establishing Delaware County’s first drug treatment court and its veteran’s treatment court. She has continued to recognize these restorative and re-entry issues through her current, collaborative efforts to initiate a federal drug treatment court program.
District Attorney Copeland, in recognition of her ongoing dedication and commitment to public service during her local and federal tenures as a prosecutor has received various awards and accolades from numerous agencies including the Marple Township, Media Borough, and Upper Darby Township police departments, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division, Drug Enforcement Administration and a Special Achievement Award for the successful prosecution of a violent, large-scale Philadelphia drug trafficking gang from at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
United States Senator
Senator Pat Toomey was elected to the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania on a platform of limited government, economic and job growth, and restoring fiscal responsibility.
The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that he has emerged as "a leading voice on money matters."
Since joining the Senate in 2011, he has distinguished himself as a leader on economic, financial services and budgetary issues, striving to restore fiscal discipline to Washington and economic opportunity for all Americans.
In this first two years in the Senate, Sen. Toomey introduced a 10-year balanced budget proposal. His idea received more votes in the Senate than any other budget plan in 2011.
The senator serves on the Finance; Banking; and Budget committees.
He previously served on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Sen. Toomey previously served in Congress as a member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 15 Congressional District, where he championed economic growth and fiscal discipline. Honoring his three-term pledge, he did not seek re-election in the House in 2004.
In addition to his public service, the senator has also served as president of the Club for Growth, owned and operated a small restaurant chain in the Lehigh Valley, and worked in the financial services industry.
A graduate of Harvard University, he lives in Zionsville with his wife, Kris, and their three children.
Donald J. Trump President
Donald J. Trump is the very definition of the American success story, continually setting the standards of excellence while expanding his interests in real estate, sports and entertainment. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance. An accomplished author, Mr. Trump has authored over fifteen bestsellers, and his first book, The Art of the Deal, is considered a business classic and one of the most successful business books of all time.
During the 2014 political cycle, Mr. Trump was a top contributor and fundraiser for Republican efforts. Mr. Trump also campaigned across the country, with each candidate winning by a record margin.
Mr. Trump has over 7 million followers on social media. He frequently uses this platform to advocate for Conservative causes, Republican candidates and to educate the public on the failures of the Obama administration. Mr. Trump appears on Fox and Friends on Monday mornings and devotes much of his time to media interviews in order to promote a Free Market, the importance of a strong family, a culture of Life, a strong military and our country’s sacred obligation to take care of our veterans and their families.
Mr. Trump has long been a devoted supporter of veteran causes. In 1995, the fiftieth anniversary of World War II, only 100 spectators watched New York City’s Veteran Day Parade. It was an insult to all veterans. Approached by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the chief of New York City’s FBI office, Mr. Trump agreed to lead as Grand Marshall a second parade later that year. Mr. Trump made a $1 million matching donation to finance the Nation’s Day Parade. On Saturday, November 11th, over 1.4 million watched as Mr. Trump marched down Fifth Avenue with more than 25,000 veterans, some dressed in their vintage uniforms. A month later, Mr. Trump was honored in the Pentagon during a lunch with the Secretary of Defense and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In New York City, the Trump signature is synonymous with the most prestigious of addresses, among them the world-renowned Fifth Avenue skyscraper, Trump Tower, the Trump International Hotel & Tower, Trump World Tower at the United Nations Plaza, 40 Wall Street, and Trump Park Avenue. His portfolio includes the historic Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida and his ever expanding collection of award-winning golf courses (seventeen thus far) which span the U.S from Los Angeles to New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Florida, and internationally from Scotland and Ireland to Dubai. He recently added the iconic golf resorts of Turnberry, Scotland, and Doonbeg, Ireland, to his portfolio and Trump National Golf Club Washington, DC, has been highly acclaimed. The Trump Hotel Collection has grown to include properties in Chicago, Las Vegas, Waikiki, Panama and Toronto in addition to Trump SoHo/New York and the acclaimed Trump International Hotel & Tower on Central Park West which once again won the coveted Mobil Five-Star Award as well as the Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. The Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago was awarded the #1 Hotel in the US and Canada by Travel & Leisure Magazine. Recent acquisitions include the iconic Doral Hotel & Country Club (800 acres) in Miami, and the historic Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C. which is being developed into a world class luxury hotel. Seen as a generational asset by the Trump family, the redevelopment plan will infuse the building with new life. Groundbreaking was in July of 2014.
Mr. Trump is the Emmy-nominated star and co-producer of the reality television series, “The Apprentice” which quickly became the number one show on television, making ratings history and receiving rave reviews and world wide attention. “The Celebrity Apprentice” has met with great success as well, being one of the highest rated shows on television. The Apprentice’s record fourteenth season premiered in January, 2015. “You’re fired!” is listed as the third greatest television catchphrase of all time. In 2007, Mr. Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and he is among the highest paid public speakers in the world. The Apprentice has raised over $15 million for charity.
Mr. Trump was born in Queens, New York. He is married to Melania Trump and father to Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany and Barron. He is a proud grandfather of seven.
Mike Pence Vice President
Mike Pence is a former six-term U.S. congressman from Indiana and current governor of Indiana. In 2016 he was chosen as the Republican vice presidential nominee on Donald Trump's ticket.
Born in Indiana in 1959, Mike Pence attended Hanover College and the Indiana University McKinney School of Law. After losing two bids for a U.S. congressional seat, he became a conservative radio and TV talk show host in the 1990s. Pence successfully ran for Congress in 2000, rising to the powerful position of Republican conference chairman, before being elected governor of Indiana in 2012. In July 2016, he surfaced as the vice presidential running mate for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Michael Richard Pence was born on June 7, 1959, in Columbus, Indiana. One of six children of Nancy and Edward Pence, a U.S. Army veteran who operated a series of gas stations, Mike Pence was politically influenced by the Irish Catholic leanings of his family. He grew up idolizing former President John F. Kennedy, and volunteered for the Bartholomew County Democratic Party as a student at Columbus North High School.
While church had played an important role in Pence's early family life, he became more deeply religious as a student at Hanover College. Additionally, although he voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980, he became inspired by Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party. After graduating with a B.A. in history in 1981, he moved to Indianapolis in 1983 to attend the Indiana University McKinney School of Law, earning his J.D. in 1986.
Mike Pence went into private practice following his graduation, and tried his hand at politics by becoming a precinct committeeman for the Marion County Republican Party. Seeking to make a bigger splash, he ran for Congress in 1988 and 1990, losing both times to Democrat Phil Sharp. However, Pence learned a valuable lesson in defeat; disgusted by his own line of attack ads, he penned an essay in 1991 titled "Confessions of a Negative Campaigner," and vowed to preach a positive message from then on.
Meanwhile, his public profile continued to grow. Pence served as president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation from 1991 through 1993, before making the leap to radio talk show punditry with "The Mike Pence Show." Referring to himself as "Rush Limbaugh on decaf," Pence was unapologetic in his support of a conservative agenda, but was commended for his level-headed manner and willingness to listen to opposing views. His radio show was syndicated in 1994, and he branched out to television as a morning show host the following year, before ending both programs in 1999.
Mike Pence revived his political career by running for Congress again in 2000, this time winning a seat. Describing himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order," he quickly demonstrated that he wasn't afraid to buck party lines. He opposed President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind policy in 2001, as well as the Medicare prescription drug expansion the following year. While his positions rankled party elders, they bolstered his reputation as a man of strong convictions, and he easily won reelection five times.
Climbing the ranks of Republican leadership, Pence was named head of the Republican Study Committee in 2005. He was unsuccessful in his bid to become minority leader in 2006, losing to Ohio's John Boehner, but two years later he was unanimously elected to the powerful position of Republican conference chairman.
A staunch fiscal conservative, Pence insisted on cuts to the federal budget before supporting funding for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005, and was among the leading opponents of the federal bailout in 2008. He also drew attention for his social views, notably supporting a plan to shut down the government over a fight to defund Planned Parenthood in 2011.
In 2011, Mike Pence announced his intention to run for governor of Indiana the following year. Despite strong name recognition and a platform focused on tax cuts and job growth, he became embroiled in a heated race with Democrat John Gregg, eventually pulling out a close win with just under 50 percent of the vote.
Pence got to work on fulfilling his promises, and in 2013 he sealed the deal on a $1.1 billion give-back, the largest tax cut in state history. He also signed into law the state's first pre-K funding program and steered funds toward infrastructure improvements. By 2016, Indiana was enjoying a $2 billion budget surplus and a pristine triple-A credit rating, but critics point out that the state's wages are below national average.
However, Pence found himself in the national spotlight and on shaky ground after signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in March 2015. Intending to protect business owners who didn't want to participate in same-sex weddings, Pence instead encountered resistance from moderate members of his party and corporations that threatened to pull out of the state, and he was forced to alter the bill to provide exemptions for LGBT communities. Similarly, he came under fire in the spring of 2016 for signing a bill that prohibits abortions when the fetus has a disability.
Shortly after announcing his intention to run for a second term as governor, Pence returned to the national spotlight when he surfaced as the vice presidential candidate for likely 2016 Republican nominee Donald Trump. Although Pence had opposed some of Trump's views, he was believed to be a good running mate for the New York business mogul due to his ties to congressional leaders and strong support among conservatives. (Pence had originally endorsed Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz during the primaries.)
On July 15, 2016, Trump officially announced that Pence was his choice for vice presidential nominee via Twitter.
At a press conference a day later, Trump called Pence “a man of honor, character and honesty.”
Pence has been married to wife Karen since 1985. A former elementary school teacher, Karen has also been involved with youth-related nonprofit organizations. The couple has three adult children: Michael, Charlotte and Audrey.
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