Speculation builds about former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels at Republican convention

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (WOWO): With a contested Republican convention increasingly likely, there’s a fresh round of speculation about Purdue president Mitch Daniels.

Daniels flirted with a White House run in 2012 in his final year as governor, but said his wife and daughters vetoed the idea. He’s been unequivocal in saying he won’t run this year either. But two alternate delegates told Politico they’ll try to draft the former governor.

Fourth District Chairman Craig Dunn will be a convention delegate, and says he’d support Daniels if he ran, but doesn’t see it happening. There is precedent for nominating a candidate over the candidate’s objections — James Garfield was elected president months after trying unsuccessfully to have convention votes for him disallowed — but Dunn says it’s unlikely the delegates would nominate someone who’s not interested in running.

Indiana’s delegates must vote on the first ballot for whoever wins the state or their congressional district. Any intrigue would begin with the second ballot.

Several delegates say Indiana still has fond memories of Daniels and would eagerly back him if he did run. If he doesn’t, Marion County Republican Chair Jennifer Ping expects several delegates will join Dunn in supporting Ohio Governor John Kasich.

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