INDIANAPOLIS - A former top aide to Gov. Mike Pence has left a job in Congress to go to work for a company whose owners could play a crucial role in any White House bid by the Indiana Republican.
Matt Lloyd, a longtime spokesman for Pence during his time in Congress, is going to work for Koch Industries as their communications director in Washington. The company's owners, Charles and David Koch, are prolific donors to conservative candidates.
Lloyd most recently worked as U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman's chief of staff, but before that spent 10 years working closely with Pence. Koch Industries spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia said Lloyd will start June 25.
The move comes as Pence is considering a run for the White House in 2016. Pence's supporters in Washington have been talking him up as a strong conservative candidate, but Pence has said he hasn't made any decisions.
If he does run, the oil magnate Koch brothers likely would play an integral role. The pair has spent heavily backing conservative candidates on the national level and have supported Pence at the state level.
The Kochs gave Pence $200,000 for his 2012 governor's race, and the Koch-backed Americans For Prosperity fought Indiana House Republicans last year when Pence's proposed income tax cut ran into opposition.
Pence has stoked the White House speculation the last few months with a handful of high-profile moves, some of them awkward for a Midwest governor. On a trade mission to Germany, Pence criticized President Barack Obama's handling of the crisis in Ukraine in a heavily publicized speech.
The Republican governor also used his rollout of a proposal to expand health insurance for low-income residents to garner some national attention. Pence also jumped into the health care battle at the Virginia Statehouse, urging House Republicans there to oppose an expansion being pushed by Democrats.
Pence is headlining a pair of Republican fundraisers out of state later this month. He will speak to New York Republicans at their summer fundraiser June 26, an event David Koch is sponsoring, and will rally Alabama Republicans June 20.
The Alabama Republican Party played up Pence's potential in a message to supporters touting his appearances.
"With just two years as Governor, Pence has already established himself as a proven chief executive and the political pundits are talking again about him as a candidate for President in 2016. With experience in D.C., and now as Governor, he would be a very formidable candidate," the state party wrote on its website.
However, Pence has yet to check off some key boxes for any aspirant, including making stops in key primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, often telltale signs of a candidate's political ambitions.
Grand Prix, Little 500 postponed to Sunday
The Indiana University men's Little 500 and Purdue University's Grand Prix have both been postponed until Sunday due to weather.
Body of missing IU student found in Brown County
A man was arrested after the body of a missing Indiana University student was discovered in a rural area of Brown County on Friday.
Ind. mom struggles to watch daughter become son
A Hendricks County mother is facing her own demons to defeat her prejudices and strengthen her love after her daughter dropped a bombshell…
CALL 6: Buyers learn hard way about cars' past
Spotting a repaired wreck on a car lot may be more difficult than you think, and it's a mistake some consumers are making and not…
Marion Co. Sheriff does domestic violence sweep
More than 200 homes across Indianapolis received knocks on their doors this week as Marion County Sheriff's Deputies executed a countywide…