Pence opens St. John campaign office
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent June 16, 2012 6:06PM
Republican governor candidate Mike Pence (center) celebrates the opening of the first Victory Center with Lake County GOP chairperson Kim Krull (left) and congressional candidate Joel Phelps in St. John, Ind. Saturday June 16, 2012. The Lake County location is the first of nine centers to open across the state. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 18, 2012 6:42AM
ST. JOHN — Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence staked out his claim in Lake County by opening the first of his campaign offices here Saturday morning.
Pence, who drove up from a breakfast in Rensselaer to attend the office’s ribbon-cutting, said the 10-phone, so-called victory center marks what he and his followers believe is the starting point for a win in November. And as it’s located in what Pence said is the second-largest Republican stronghold in Indiana, the office fits into his plan of having an office in all four corners of the state.
The choice to call it a “victory center” was planned as well.
“We’re just determined to present a positive message over the course of the campaign,” Pence said.
Pence wasn’t sure why St. John was picked over for the office over other locales in the county. He told the audience, however, that he wants it to feel like their “home away from home” for the next few months.
“We want people working every day to bring a great Republican victory,” Pence said. “But this office is not going to be just about me; it’s going to be about lifting our cause in the state.
“I’m honored to be the standard bearer of the party, but I also want to be the standard bearer of struggling families.”
Reading aloud headlines from the local papers, Lake County GOP Chairman Kim Krull pointed out that 50 public officials indicted in Lake County have been Democrats.
Jonathan Crabtree, 14, of Greenwood, was one of the first people to start making phone calls on behalf of Pence at the St. John office. Because of family connections, the young man said he already has worked on several campaigns.
“I like to get other people’s thoughts on today’s issues that matter,” Crabtree said.
Dyer Republican chairman Bob Starkey said the office is expected to increase to 25 phones over the course of the campaign.
Other Pence campaign offices will open in Avon, Carmel, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Goshen, Indianapolis, Jeffersonville, and Shelbyville.