Pence family comes home to Indiana - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Pence family comes home to Indiana

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Governor Pence and his wife, Karen, have three children. Governor Pence and his wife, Karen, have three children.
Pence hopes to find time to ride horses in Brown County while in office. Pence hopes to find time to ride horses in Brown County while in office.
Audrey Pence Audrey Pence
Charlotte Pence Charlotte Pence
Michael Pence Michael Pence
INDIANAPOLIS -

The family of Indiana Governor Mike Pence has been in the public eye for more than half their lives, following their father from campaign stop to campaign stop during his 12 years as a congressman.

The new governor and his family recently sat down with Eyewitness News at President Benjamin Harrison's home on Delaware Street.

"Frankly, we've had a pretty normal childhood. We've seen some cool things in DC and now Indiana, but it's been pretty normal until the last six months," said son Michael Pence.

All three of the Pence children were involved in their dad's campaign for governor, despite their own busy lives. Michael, a 21-year-old student at Purdue, is studying to be a pilot. Charlotte, 19, is a freshman film student at DePaul University in Chicago. She says moving was hard, but you adjust.

"I've found that your home is where your family is and coming back here has been great and being so close in Chicago, I was able to come down for one of the debates," Charlotte said.

Audrey, a senior in high school, turned 18 just in time to vote in the last election. She says she is politically independent, socially liberal and even voted split ticket.

"Probably the person I get the most respect from is my dad on that and he has always...he tells me so many times, 'I am proud of you for having your own opinions and looking into things'," Audrey said.

Governor Pence says his greatest sense of accomplishment after 12 years in public service, as he begins this new phase of service, is that his family has only drawn closer.

"This has always been a family affair for us, from the very first campaign headed out to county fairs, while Karen and I would be shaking hands at the Republican tent, the kids would be standing out in front of the tent, handing out flyers and shaking hands," he said.

For the new first lady of Indiana, Karen Pence, moving into the Governor's Residence on Meridian Street is sort of a homecoming. She grew up in Broad Ripple and attended Chatard and Butler.

As the first lady, she will focus on the things she's passionate about, education and art, but says it will take time to get use to giving up her privacy, something a former first lady has already warned her about.

"You know, Judy O'Bannon told me, 'Just get over it. Just get over it,' so I am taking her advice. I am just going to get over it and realize the never four years we are going to be in the public eye and we want to make the most of it," Karen said.

They'll make the most of their family time, too.

Governor Pence says he's been asked a lot if he will ride into the state on a Harley, but you are more than likely to see him on horseback.

"I know word's already out that the Pence family likes to ride and so I can tell you my ambition as governor, any free time of a Saturday morning is to slip down to Brown County or find another place to where we can saddle up and ride," he said.

If you are wondering about first-time voter Audrey and that split ticket, "Yes, I voted for him. I did vote for him. He proved himself to me," she said about her father.

Now Governor Pence says he looks forward to proving himself to residents of Indiana.

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