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Pence Launches Gubernatorial Bid

As expected (and accidentally leaked by his campaign committee), U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, R-In., is running for governor of Indiana in 2012. The former radio broadcaster has served in Congress since 2001, where he's become known as a staunch conservative and Tea Party favorite."I'm in this race," Pence told supporters. "Any real Hoosier knows any important race begins in the month of May."Political observers predict the 2012 governor's race could be an ugly contest in the battleground state, with Democrats portraying Pence has a deep partisan figure.State Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker issued a statement Thursday calling Pence a "vitriolic critic with a megaphone", accusing him of spending a "decade in Congress focusing on divisive issues rather than working for the people of Indiana."Former state House Speaker John Gregg is considered the likely Democratic candidate and plans to form an exploratory committee later this month.