Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels is quitting politics effective immediately, now that he is set to become president of Purdue University when his term ends in January.
His decision means that Mitt Romney will miss out on the chance of campaigning alongside one of the country's most effective and best-known governors as he tries to win back the Hoosier State which Barack Obama won in 2008.
“Effective immediately, I will recuse myself from any partisan political activities or commentary,” Daniels said at a news conference announcing his appointment.
When his term ends, Daniels will have served eight years as Indiana’s 49th governor. Even though he did not run for U.S. president this year, his name has frequently been mentioned as a possible running mate for Romney.
“No institution of any kind means more to Indiana today or tomorrow as Purdue University,” Daniels said. “I hope to become an audible and credible voice for the critical role of higher education in the nation's future, and an effective advocate of Purdue to those who might support its growth in quality and reputation.”
Daniels, 63, will succeed retiring Purdue President France Córdova. His candidacy was approved earlier Thursday by the Purdue Board of Trustees. The selection was immediately hailed by Indiana Republican Sen. Dan Coats.
“I always said ‘President Daniels’ has a nice ring to it," Coats said in a statement. “Despite the numerous national opportunities available to him, the governor followed his heart and chose to stay home in Indiana. In doing so, he once again demonstrated his passion for our state and commitment to improving our education system for future generations.
“I commend the governor for his dedication to Hoosiers and look forward to working with him as he leads Purdue University."
Keith Krach, the Purdue board chairman, said Daniels’s appointment would “continue to raise the global profile of Purdue.”
News of Daniels’ candidacy leaked out earlier this week. The university has a closed selection process.
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