Pence to announce on presidential bid

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) will announced his 2012 plans on Thursday evening.

Pence's decision is expected to appear on the Indianapolis Star's website after 7 p.m., according to the Star.

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There are several indications Pence has opted to run for governor, not least of which is the timing of his announcement. Many of the other presidential contenders have said they won't announce until spring at the earliest -- none have yet declared their candidacy.

And given the choice of venue, one Indiana GOP operative tells the Ballot Box the expectation among Republicans in the state is that Pence will opt for the governor's race.

However, the Howey Politics Indiana blog is reporting Pence will simply announce Thursday he's not running for president but will not talk about the gubernatorial race.

Despite prominent conservatives upping their efforts to urge a Pence presidential bid next year, speculation that he is prepping for a gubernatorial run has increased in recent weeks.

Pence is scheduled to speak during at least nine GOP county dinners in Indiana over the next few months, according to the Star.

During part of that time, though, fundraising will be on hold. Indiana passed a strict ethics law last year that prohibits campaign fundraising by candidates for statewide office while the Legislature is in session. The current session wraps up at the end of April.

Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), another rumored GOP presidential contender, is term limited. Pence stepped down as House GOP conference chair in November.

-Sean Miller contributed

-- This post was updated at 4:51 p.m.