Republican governors offer a glimpse of conservative policies

Published 3:43 pm Saturday, December 27, 2014

MADISON, Wis. — One group of potential candidates for president probably won’t be shuffling off to Iowa, New Hampshire or other early campaign spots in the new year. They’ll be hunkered down in statehouses across the Midwest, pushing bills through their legislatures.

Few outside their home states will notice, but these governors and their policies could wind up in the national campaign picture.

Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Mike Pence of Indiana, Rick Snyder of Michigan and John Kasich of Ohio were all elected after Republicans began taking political control of the middle of the country back in 2010. Since then, they have offered a glimpse of what some conservative policies would look like if put into wider effect.

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Should any of these governors join the race for the White House, their state records would become their chief qualification for higher office and might provide some distance from partisan battles in Washington. The governors could also benefit from being in a region rich with swing states.

“All those governors have stories of success to tell and stories about crisis management,” said veteran Republican presidential strategist Charlie Black.