By JILL COLVIN
NEW YORK (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence will officially launch his widely expected campaign for the Republican nomination for president in Iowa next week, adding another candidate to the growing GOP field and putting him in direct competition with his former boss.
Pence will hold a kickoff event in Des Moines on June 7, the date of his 64th birthday, according to two people familiar with his plans who spoke on condition of anonymity to share details ahead of the official announcement. He'll also release a video message as part of the launch.
His team sees early-voting Iowa as critical to his potential path to victory and advisers say he plans to campaign aggressively for the state's conservative, Evangelical Christian voters. The campaign is expected to lean heavily on town halls and retail stops aimed at showcasing Pence's personality as he tries to emerge from former President Donald Trump's shadow.
The week will be a busy one for GOP announcements. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planning to launch his campaign Tuesday evening at a town hall event in New Hampshire and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum will announce on June 7 in Fargo.