INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Mike Pence has met with four Republicans who hope to secure his appointment as Indiana's next state auditor, he said Thursday.
Not on that list: state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, last year's failed U.S. Senate nominee who had expressed his interest in the job to local GOP officials – and who many party members say they'd prefer to keep off the ballot.
Pence is seeking to replace outgoing Auditor Tim Berry of Fort Wayne, who is the governor's nominee to become the next Indiana Republican Party chairman – a job that would require him to give up the office he's held for six years.
Pence said he met with four potential candidates on Wednesday, including state Rep. Tom Saunders, R-Lewisville. He said the condition he set for each of the candidates is that they must seek a full four-year term in 2014.
"I've made it very clear to all the candidates that I'm not looking for an interim auditor. I'm looking for an individual who is prepared to do the job … and I've also made it very clear to the candidates that a prerequisite of my appointment is that they be willing to stand for election to that office in 2014," Pence said. "I'm going to consider anyone who expresses interest in the position."
He is expected to make an appointment after the Indiana Republican Party selects its new chairman later this month.
Another appointment he has to make is Republican National Committeewoman, replacing former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, who gave up the post in order to focus more time on her new private economic development job and her role leading the state's bicentennial commission.
Pence said Indiana Republicans have a "deep bench" for that position.