After helping Republicans take the House, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence plans to step down as the head of the House GOP conference, presumably to prepare for potential presidential or gubernatorial bid in 2012.
"Now that we have restored a Republican majority to the House of Representatives and I have fulfilled my commitment to the Republican Conference, my family and I have begun to look to the future," Pence said in a statement to colleagues this morning.
"As we consider new opportunities to serve Indiana and our nation in the years ahead, I have come to realize that it may not be possible to complete an entire term as conference chairman. As such, I think it would be more appropriate for me to step aside now, especially since there are other talented men and women in our Conference who could do the job just as well or better."
The Columbus Republican declined to say what his plans are, but he has been talked about as a potential presidential and gubernatorial candidate.
Pence was the top choice in a presidential straw poll of conservatives attending the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit in September.
Gov. Mitch Daniels, who cannot seek re-election in 2012, has also left open the possibility of running for president.