INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mike Pence has no interest in taking the place of soon-to-resign U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
The first-term governor, who was part of the Republican leadership team during his 12 years in Congress, told reporters Tuesday he isn't currently seeking a return to Washington, D.C. — not even as the person second-in-line for the presidency.
"I like my current job," Pence said, while chuckling at the prospect of becoming speaker.
The speakership was no laughing matter in 2010 when Pence, then chairman of the House Republican Conference, reportedly considered challenging Boehner for the post. Boehner outpolled Pence, 168-27, for GOP leader in 2008.
Instead, after weighing a 2012 presidential bid, Pence chose to campaign for Indiana governor and narrowly defeated Democrat John Gregg.
Pence declared in June that he is running for a second term. He is expected to face Gregg in a 2016 rematch.
House Republicans are struggling to find a replacement for Boehner, who announced Sept. 25 he will give up the speaker's chair and quit Congress Oct. 30, or once a new chamber leader is elected.
Boehner's chosen successor, U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., withdrew from the speaker's race Oct. 8 after the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus declared him insufficiently devoted to their policy positions, the same complaint those 40 or so House Republicans often made about Boehner.
A variety of lesser-known Republicans have since thrown their hats in the ring while lawmakers wait to see if U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, will change his mind about not running for speaker.
Pence, and really any person on earth, is eligible to be elected speaker of the House as the U.S. Constitution sets no qualifications for the job, including being a member of the House or even a U.S. citizen.