Vice President Mike Pence at the Cops for Trump event held at The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 11, 2020. (Photo: Josh Galemore / Arizona Daily Star)

For a lifelong midwesterner, Vice President Mike Pence has quite a few Arizona ties.

Some, like his son’s ongoing military service in Yuma, are personal. Others, like the overseas trips he took with the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, are professional. And some are a bit of both, like his working relationship-turned-friendship with Gov. Doug Ducey. 

“I’m telling you what,” the vice president told a West Valley crowd in mid-September: “The Pence family loves Arizona!”

Pence will return to the Phoenix area Thursday to host a rally at a tactical-gear supply business in Peoria as Arizona continues its countdown to the Nov. 3 presidential election. 

Ahead of his visit, here’s a closer look at Pence’s connections to this crucial swing state. 

1. ‘Bromance’ with Ducey

Gov. Ducey met Pence in Indiana in the early 2010s at an event with the state’s then-governor, Mitch Daniels. At the time, Pence was seen as the natural successor to Daniels, who was approaching the end of his term. 

When Ducey launched his first campaign to become Arizona’s chief executive and found himself in a crowded, often heated primary, the newly minted Gov. Pence lent his support to Ducey’s candidacy.

Their relationship grew over the years, as the two men presided over their states and faced similar issues. They saw each other frequently at conferences and spoke over the phone about politics and their families, Ducey’s former chief of staff, Kirk Adams, told The Arizona Republic last year. 

“Their two personalities, in my view, are very similar,” Adams said. “They just kind of click. They get each other.”

Indeed, Ducey appeared