I believe my history on this is correct: Governor Pence is the first Indiana governor since Samuel Bigger in 1843 to be eligible for consecutive terms but fail to win a second term. Bigger was a Whig who was elected in 1840, in large part because he was not connected to the Indiana Mammoth Internal Improvement Act of 1836 which failed in spectacular fashion. However, when it was time for Bigger to stand for re-election, Indiana had a bad economy, Whigs were having a hard time nationally, and Bigger had made some anti-Methodist comments about a decade earlier that were coming back to haunt him.
After Bigger, James Whitcomb won election twice. Whitcomb resigned after being elected Senator during the middle of his term, and his lieutenant governor, Paris Dunning (who had not been elected as governor) finished out the term. Joseph Wright won two terms, including one under the new Constitution of 1851 which prohibited consecutive terms. Between 1851 and 1972, Indiana governors were prohibited from consecutive terms.
From 1972, Doc Bowen, Robert Orr, Evan Bayh, Frank O’Bannon, and Mitch Daniels all won election and re-election. Joe Kernan (like Paris Dunning) was never elected as governor. That brings us to Mike Pence, elected in 2012 but who won’t be re-elected in 2016.
Jay Hulbert says